The latest variant of Mahindra’s utility vehicle XUV 500 renamed as w4 will be launched in Indian markets during festival season of October-November 2013 and its price according to company’s press release will be 10.99 lakhs INR. This new car will have a better safety feature in the form of transmission gearbox which was not present in earlier version. The W4 also lacks puddle lamps and expensive upholstery. Since it is priced lesser a few luxuries have been removed like fog-lights, leather upholstery, and cruise control along with its six inch display screen. In the W4 Mahindra has retained previous safety gadgets of dual airbags and revised ABS and improved clutch operation keeping in mind growing traffic on Indian city roads.
This model has been launched to reduce fall in profits due to growing competition from lesser priced SUV’s which are eating into its share of Indian market. Recent rise in excise duties has pushed up input costs urging high end car makers to change their manufacturing and marketing strategies to increase sales. Mahindra has therefore decided to make less expensive variants of existing models by removing expensive accessories and retaining basic features to retain company’s reputation of building reliable and safe cars. Its older entertainment system will be replaced by a basic mp3 compatible CD music system along with four speakers. This strategy ensures that existing customer base is retained and also new buyers with smaller budgets will get attracted. The appealing design of its exteriors and interiors will remain unchanged except for upholstery quality. The old 2.2 litre M-Hawk engine from earlier XUV 500 version will be retained and teamed up with 4-cylinder master unit along with 6-speed manual gearbox to produce torque of 330 Nm.
This new version of XUV 500 is expected to challenge upcoming competition from Nissan, Renault, Ford and Maruti Suzuki which is rumored to be launching nearly four SUV’s by 2016. This redesigned model will be available across 10 major cities in India through its nationwide dealer network. An added feature will be McPherson type suspension with sporty 17 inch wheels providing easy acceleration on highways within 5.4 seconds reaching 100 kmph from 60 kmph. Its re-engineered disc braking system and two-wheel drive makes the car easier to maneuver on city roads. The new XUV W4 with basic features of previous version will have simpler interiors along with remote central locking.
As the market leader in utility vehicles within India for almost three decades, Mahindra cannot afford to lose its position to new entrants. It therefore wants to position its passenger cars in every price segment and in this endeavor the re-launch of its expensive and classy XUV 500 is a positive step in the right direction. This revised model is expected to sell more numbers since the current one is selling in meager numbers of only 2000 units a month. Its clever pricing has been done to insure that its sales will not affect existing market share of other Mahindra SUV and MUV models.