Indian automobile manufacturer Mahindra's South African subsidiary has launched a new compact utility vehicle here with the company trying to reach out to the youth with its latest offering and capture a bigger market share in the country.
The new sporty KUV100, available in petrol and diesel, is the smallest vehicle in Mahindra South Africa's product range.
"We have been here for 12 years in a market of more than 500,000 vehicles, yet we sell only about 4,000 vehicles, which is less than one per cent of the total market. So what we are trying to do with this launch is to address a much larger segment of customers," Executive Director and Group President (Auto and Farm Sector) Dr Pawan Goenka said here yesterday.
He said the current product range of Mahindra in South Africa addressed about a third of the market, with the five variants of the new vehicle expected to double this.
Since its launch in India four months ago, as a new entry for Mahindra in the compact SUV segment of the automobile market, the KUV100 has found favour among younger buyers.
Local research has shown similar interest in such a vehicle among South Africans.
"We believe that this vehicle is very well poised for the South African market as we enter the second phase of our journey here after the success of our bakkies (small open vans) here," Goenka said.
"In the financial year ended March 2016, Mahindra SA saw a four per cent growth in sales volume against a backdrop of a 6.7 per cent decline in the industry for the same period," Chief Executive of Mahindra South Africa Sanjoy Gupta said.
He said that the new range would appeal to the lifestyle of the young as well families with children because of its strong value proposition.
The KUV100 is priced much lower than similar models from competitors in South Africa, while boasting more extra features than most of them.
Gupta also said three new Mahindra vehicles will be launched in South Africa within the next three months.