Mahindra S101 spy shots surface again

Compact SUVs are catching up really well in our market and almost all major manufacturers are preparing to enter this segment. These vehicles come with small yet fairly powerful engine, small size but with SUV like presence and an attractive price tag. The small dimensions, a sub 4 meter length to be precise, help manufacturers keep the costs down by getting the excise duty benefits. It also makes them very practical for everyday use in city driving.

Mahindra S101 spied picture front

Mahindra S101 spied picture front

Engines under 1500 cc get the tax benefit and most of these soft roader compact SUVs come with the option of a sub 1500 cc oil burner. Soft roader, because these are essentially toughened up hatchbacks rather than being a scaled down SUV. You don’t get options like four wheel drive on these vehicles so they are more of the urban vehicles. Mahindra made an attempt at one such vehicle earlier with the Quanto but it failed to gain popularity.

Now they are coming up with another product in this category. The name isn’t known yet but its development name is S101. More spy shots of this upcoming product have surfaced now. This is expected to be an impressive product as this is more of a completely new vehicle unlike Quanto which looked more like a chopped down Xylo. The XUV 500 came with an entirely new monocoque frame. The S101 follows the suit and they have developed an entirely new monocoque frame for this new vehicle. This would improve driving dynamics and safety over other conventional types of frames we see.

This new Mahindra vehicle would challenge the popular Ford EcoSport and the upcoming VW Taigun and Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha. This will compete in this popular segment. Most of the spy shots we have seen yet show the vehicle covered in camouflage so the details aren’t very clear but still the large bits can be figured out easily. It comes with a flat roof and the rear windscreen is at a sharp angle. The interiors have been revealed in some spy shots as well. They have moved the gear shifter to the dashboard like on Ritz to free up more space on the floor. While until now Mahindra has been seen using diesel engines only, but this time they will come up with a petrol engine as well.

This new petrol engine being discussed here will be a 1.2 litre unit. It is newly developed by them working with SsangYong. This engine will not only power the S101 but also run under the hood of the Ssangyong X100 compact SUV. The oil burner that would be offered with this vehicle will be the same 1.5 litre three cylinder turbocharged unit that is seen on Quanto. It develops a peak power of 100 bhp and a peak torque of 240 Nm which is available between 1600 and 2800 rpm. This is an impressive engine and we don’t really think they will make any changes to it. Expect the vehicle to come out near mid of 2015.

Mahindra S101 spotted again and again

Only a while ago, an entirely new class of vehicles started gaining popularity in our market. This new class was compact SUV. These vehicles come with small but fairly powerful engine, high ground clearance, capable suspension, hatchback like dimensions and attractive price tag. These compact SUVs are giving competition not only to the low end SUVs but also some of the diesel hatchbacks and compact sedans.

Mahindra s101

Mahindra s101

The reason this new class is becoming popular is because they tick just the right boxes. The road conditions in our country don’t really allow low ground clearance vehicles to survive for long and the compact SUVs offer high ground clearance. A small engine, in most cases a diesel under 1500 cc is efficient but has enough power to serve the vehicles. And then the sub 4 metre length is another factor that helps manufacturers save on excise duties. Longer vehicles attract a higher excise duty and by keeping the vehicles under 4 metres, they can bring down costs by transmitting the excise duty benefits to the customers.

Ford Ecosport is one popular compact SUV being sold in our market and it will soon by joined by many other vehicles like VW Taigun, Maruti XA Alpha and the Mahindra S101. The S101 will be Mahindra’s entry in this popular segment as they try to go against the big guns. Recent spy shots reveal that it will carry design cues from their popular model XUV 500. The spy shots show the car covered in camouflage so minor details aren’t revealed but still they give a very good idea of the overall vehicle profile.

It has a flat roof and the rear windscreen is slightly tapered towards the end. The dimensions are similar to Quanto. Some other spy shots revealed that inside the car, it has a dashboard mounted gear lever. This would free up space on the floor which might find some other uses. Mahindra is working on developing a petrol engine for this vehicle. We will see a 1.2 litre engine developed jointly with their South Korean subsidiary, SsangYong Motors. It is expected to be a three cylinder engine. Obviously it will come with a diesel engine option as well. The engine would be the same engine that we see on the Mahindra Quanto.

The engine inside Quanto is a 1500 cc turbocharger unit. It develops an impressive 100 bhp of peak power and a peak torque of 240 Nm which is spread from 1600 to 2800 rpm. We expect the S101 to come with this engine offering similar performance numbers. For this new vehicle, it is rumoured that they have developed an entirely new platform. It is a monocoque construction similar to the XUV 500. This improves the vehicle dynamics as compared to a body on ladder or semi monocoque type construction. The vehicle is still being tested by Mahindra and is expected to be launched somewhere around the mid of 2015 or maybe even later. For now, Mahindra is planning to launch the refreshed version of Scorpio soon.

Mahindra planning to have manufacturing facility in Brazil

Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s leading utility vehicle manufacturer might soon be working to have a manufacturing facility in Brazil. They have already got a presence in the Brazilian market and have launched many of their vehicles while working closely with their partner Bramont there. While things were sailing smooth until now, they will be looking at increased costs because of the new Inovar Auto incentive programme. It has been levied on automakers and will result in higher price of imports.

mahindra bolero special edition

Mahindra Bolero Special Edition

This programme will be effective till 2017 and is targeted at providing support to the local facilities. It offers tax support for automakers sourcing parts locally. This would promote local development of products and encourage local R & D. This would make the imports from markets like India rather uncompetitive due to the increased cost. Companies that already have a facility in the country will be unaffected by this change but the ones with small level of localisation will be hugely affected.

M & M is among the domestic firms that have presence in the market and they sell two products, Scorpio SUV and its pick up variant. Both these vehicles are assembled by its Brazilian partner Bramont. They currently assemble vehicles in Manaus which is far from the important markets. This adds to the costs of logistics and with this facility, they are not able to achieve required level of localisation. Brazil is the seventh largest car market in the world and last year, almost 2.8 million vehicles were sold. The number indicates that they are just short of where the Indian market stands and definitely a market where manufacturers want to gain share.

Mr. Pawan Goenka, executive director and president, verified that they are considering the decision of having a manufacturing plant in Brazil to get around tariff barriers. They look at Brazil as an important market and that is why they are considering this decision. Though they made it clear that it isn’t an immediate plan and they are just looking at the options they have for now. There will be a sure word about this once they are cook up final plans for this. Currently they are working on the updated version of Mahindra Scorpio. It has been a very successful product for the company and they will be launching the refreshed version of Mahindra Scorpio anytime soon.

Mahindra is a fast growing brand and now they have got products across various countries. They have got their own sales setup in South Africa, Australia and Italy. In the other markets, they rely on their distribution partners to sell their products like the XUV 500, Scorpio, Quanto and Maxximo. Apart from Brazil, they have got local partners in Egypt as well to assemble the vehicles. The volume of sales went down for the financial year ’14 due to the decrease in demand for diesel vehicles dropped and SUV prices went up. However the exports went up by a considerable margin.

Mahindra offering extended warranty for XUV 500

Mahindra XUV 500 turned things around for Mahindra and worked wonders towards their image. It brought in some features that weren’t ever offered in this class and offered excellent value for money. The Monocoque chassis on a SUV was something new for this class and it offered excellent handling and ride quality. It literally stormed the market because it offered an excellent package giving the consumers everything they look for. It has got the looks, presence, performance, luxury features and efficiency making it a good seller.

Mahindra XUV500

Mahindra XUV500

While they were selling this vehicle in good numbers and enjoying the long waiting lists, there were minor issues cropping up with the ones they sold. They updated the vehicle soon to put an end to the issues and most of them were solved. Still some problems were reported but not in a huge number. The sales were still strong and this being the Mahindra flagship product couldn’t be ignored in any way. They had to take care of any issues that their customers face and give them the assurance that their issues will be promptly addressed.

The XUV 500 is offered in multiple variants. The entry level W4 offers excellent value for money to the customers while giving them features from a class above. On the top of the line W8 variant, they offer a long list of luxury features and the customers can choose from some premium colours as well that are exclusive to this variant. Based on the Mahindra XUV 500 W8, they launched the Sportz Edition which provided some cosmetic updates. It comes with a standard warranty of 3 years or 1 lac kms. Above this standard warranty, customers can choose among the extended warranty options Mahindra is offering on this vehicle.

For a period of 1 year over the standard 3 year period, customers have to pay approximately INR 13,000 to INR 16,000. For an additional 2 year warranty, the customers will have to pay INR 21,000 to INR 23,000. XUV 500 owners can choose from these extended warranty packages and they will be applicable on all the variants of XUV 500. They also offer Extended Roadside Assistance with Bajaj Allianz for duration of 5 years.

This would provide you support and service in case you run into trouble with your Mahindra XUV 500 somewhere away from home. You will also get flatbed towing service to take your vehicle to the nearest Mahindra service station. They will also provide you with free fuel if you are out of fuel and charges for cab to take you to nearest Mahindra service center. This would give the owners an assurance and freedom from minor issues. The Mahindra XUV 500 is powered by the 2.2 litre mHawk engine generating peak power of 140 bhp and peak torque of 330 Nm. It is a front wheel drive vehicle so it is more suited to city driving and offers good efficiency. This model is here to stay for long time as there is no update expected anytime soon so this extended warranty is definitely a good move.

2016 Mahindra Bolero spotted testing

Mahindra Bolero has been one of the most successful vehicles the Indian manufacturer has ever produced. It has been around for over a decade and has topped the sales charts when it comes to utility vehicles. It has received various facelifts during these years but has always remained a rugged, capable and reliable vehicle. Even after so many years, this vehicle is doing over 10 million units a year for the past three years and is on track to achieve this number again this year.

Mahindra all new Bolero 001

Over the years, the Mahindra Bolero has been launched in different forms. It is available as a SUV, Maxi truck or pickup truck. And above all that, there is the highly customisable Stinger version to appeal the young drivers. Now they are planning to replace the Bolero and this time instead of a facelift, they are going for an update that is more than skin deep. It will be styled better than the current Bolero bringing in some modern design cues that we see on the newer Mahindra vehicles. It will bring in some new features that should necessarily be added to modern vehicles and this time, creature comfort will also take a higher priority along with practicality and reliability.

The spy shots show most parts of the utility vehicle covered to hide the details and unfinished bits. Still it is visible that the front face is very much different from the current generation of Bolero. The current one has got large headlamps that dominate the face. The U301, as the upcoming model is known for now, has got large headlamps but they are styled very well. It also gets wider bumper to give it an aggressive front facia and make it look bigger than it actually is.

The current Bolero has got flat panels which do the job well but don’t really look impressive. This is about to change with the new model. The hood looks shorter and apparently it is a bit curved unlike the current Bolero. The overall vehicle profile is very much different on the new model as well. It appears to be taller than the current generation Bolero but that is just what the photographs suggest for now. On the rear, the door looks a bit smaller than the Bolero being sold at present. The rear bumper is fatter and appears to sit a bit higher. The tail lamps appear to be from an older model of Scorpio so we will assume that they haven’t finalised the tail lamp design yet.

It is also being said that this Bolero might be launched in two wheelbase variants. One variant will has length less than 4 metres to get excise duty benefits and the other one will be of regular dimensions. Obviously for the former, they will have to go for an engine below 1500 cc. The engine from Quanto will do the job here then. This new Bolero is expected to come out near the end of 2016.

Will Mahindra build its SUV factory in Brazil in near future

To revive its economic condition Brazil government has adopted a unique policy which involves forcing all automakers who sell their models in the nation to set up manufacturing facilities. Since several large and small OEM’s are selling their products in Brazil as it is one of world’s fastest growing markets this is the right time to make a policy like this. To ensure that carmakers quickly decide about making a production facility in Brazil, it has imposed a high import tax on carmakers that import their products as complete units or assemble their products in Brazil. According to this new law called Inovar, products with higher quantity of imported content will be taxed more than indigenously manufactured products.

mahindra plant

Carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra has a sizeable stake in Brazil markets as its Scorpio and Pickup trucks have a huge demand. It works with a local partner Bramont located at Manaus to assemble its products and sell them in local markets. Since its products are assembled and not manufactured in Brazil Mahindra may soon face the full force or partial force of Inovar therefore it may set up a production unit for making popular SUV’s like Scorpio, XUV 500 and Bolero. Though the firm has not confirmed about setting up a factory in Brazil speculation is rife that to continue its lucrative business interest in Brazil Mahindra may start a production unit in near future if not immediately in Brazil.

To keep its taxation problem as low as possible a likely strategy Mahindra’s officials can try is to increase level of localization for its products that are assembled in Brazil. According to this taxation plan higher amount of imported content will attract higher taxation therefore an assembled unit with minimal imported materials or parts will be taxed lower. Mahindra has a production unit in Egypt from which most its products sold in Brazil are imported therefore the carmaker may find it unviable to open another manufacturing unit. The carmaker is therefore still in a quandary to retain its assembling unit in Brazil or turn it into a full fledged production unit. If Mahindra decides to make a manufacturing unit in Brazil it could turn out to be advantageous for the carmaker in the long run.

It can make this nation as its base and expand its sales network across other nations in South America like Venezuela and Argentina all of which have a sizeable car market. Leading carmakers like Fiat, Renault, Volkswagen and also Ford have their manufacturing facilities in Brazil to consolidate their hold on local markets therefore this investment can earn long term benefits. However with car sales in South American nations, which till recently were considered as emerging markets showing visible signs of drastic slowdown, Mahindra and other carmakers may consider postponing their ideas of setting up production unit in this region. Mahindra and Mahindra has already started on its production unit in Tamil Nadu near Chennai which will make its latest compact SUV S101 therefore is not likely to consider another production unit in Brazil.

Mahindra making another try to buy SAAB

Carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra does not seem to be undeterred by previous hurdles to buy bankrupt luxury model Saab to establish itself has an international manufacturer. Last time Mahindra had been thwarted in its attempts to buy Saab due to China’s National Electric Vehicle which purchased the brand from Spyker NV when it was sold by General Motors. The brand is up for sale for third time therefore Mahindra is taking all efforts to make a final bid this time to take over Saab.  Though Mahindra had made attempts to buy international brands like Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin it had not been successful but was able to buy out Korean brand SsangYong which has now revived itself.

Mahindra rise new logo

Mahindra Rise New Logo

Mahindra and Mahindra is ranked as India’s 3rd largest automaker with annual sales of 40000 crores with 9 models sold in India and overseas. Though Chinese investors had bought a stake in Saab they were unable to finance operations and production has halted again. Therefore Mahindra is keen on buying a stake in it by partnering with Nevs which is a majority share holder. Though market rumors suggest that there is another international OEM from automobile sector in the partnership along with Mahindra details have not been divulged as yet. Mahindra knows that international car market is lot larger than global SUV market and therefore is keen on buying Saab as this will give it international recognition and global outlook.

After acquisition of Indian electric carmaker Reva Mahindra has been trying to improve technology and popularize use of these emission free cars with little success. Therefore it is keen on collaborating with Saab as it a presently run by National Electric Vehicles Sweden which is facing operational problems as one of its Chinese investors has not honored financial commitment. If Mahindra’s stake is accepted in this revival plan for Saab then it can emerge as an international brand and draw up a survival plan for this Swedish brand like Tata Motors did for Jaguar Land Rover. Presently the carmaker has shut down product of its 9-3 at Saab’s factory in Trollhättan factory in Sweden. Though Mahindra had expressed its desire to buy this carmaker for quite some time it has not confirmed that it is one of the bidders to buy a stake this time.

Saab has also moved out around 100 employees for various reasons though the main reason is its inability to pay salaries for them. Though Mahindra was unable to invest last time it may be successful this year as it has the success of SsangYong and also Reva behind it and is now in a more capable position to discuss technology of electric cars. Nevs till recently was running the production with 6 models every day, with finance from Qingbo Investment Co. but after it  stopped funds Nevs had no other option but to put a temporary stop to production. Though Qingbo is the investment arm of Qingdao city which had ordered for 200 units of electric Saab models which are currently under various stages of production, it has been unable to keep up the promise therefore it remains to be seen how a new investor or investors will handle the situation.

Mahindra Reva E2O Next gen: What to expect?

As fuel prices go up, everyone is looking for alternate sources to keep the vehicles running. A large number of commercial vehicles have moved to gaseous fuels. It is not only the fuel prices but also the carbon footprint of using gasoline and diesel that is contributing towards this shift. Hybrid and Electric vehicles are seen as the solution. But no transition is easy and people will take their own sweet time before they shift to these vehicles.

mahindra e20

Mahindra e20

Mahindra, after acquiring Reva, has been working to improve the way electric vehicles are received by people. They refreshed the products to bring in better looking vehicles with various features that an average city commuter looks for in a car. They also showcased an electric performance vehicle at the auto expo 2014 in an attempt to demonstrate that electric doesn’t necessarily means boring and underpowered. The Reva-i came out long back and was criticised mainly for its ugly design and lack of space. To remove these flaws from this car, they launched its next generation version and called it the Mahindra E2O.

The Mahindra E2O hasn’t got very impressive power. It has a peak power of just 25 bhp and a torque of 53 Nm which is available right from the word go. You get other features as well like power windows, air conditioning, power steering and central locking. While it is not able to justify the asking price, it makes a strong case for itself due to the low running cost. There are many factors that would have to contribute to make this vehicle practical for everyday use. It will need support from government as the costs need to be cut down. This can be attained if government provides subsidies.

The other factor that would contribute is the quick charging stations. Mahindra installed some charging stations at Bangalore but there aren’t plenty of them. More charging stations need to be installed in various metropolitan cities. These stations need to be maintained and would require uninterrupted power supply. This is something that would require the support from government. This is still a great alternative to your budget hatchback or a motorbike for city commute due to the low running cost and easy drivability. Mahindra is making efforts from its own side to boost the sales of E2O.

Last year, they introduced a scheme where they subsidized the E2O purchase by reimbursing the E2O’s electric bill each month. They are also offering free extended warranty on the E2O for three years. They are partnering with various firms in other countries as well to promote the use of electric vehicles in those countries. The E2O is a nice vehicle to drive around the town with its light weight and torquey motor. The noises are damped very well and you hear the motor whine only when you floor the pedal. This definitely marks the future of personal mobility. It packs in modern technology while providing you the look and feel of a conventional car.

The new Mahindra Komodo concept is the basis for a luxurious mean machine

The India bred auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is a very well-known and appreciated company is virtually. Mahindra is also the utility vehicle major and is known as the SUV king in India. However, the Indian company is not that popular in the international markets as yet. Though Mahindra is the world’s largest tractor manufacturer and is also getting increasingly popular in car markets such as South Africa, the Indian car maker has a long way to go to become a well-known global auto maker.

mahindra komodo concept by makrand patil

Mahindra Komodo Concept

Mahindra & Mahindra has big plans on making it big as a global auto major and its decision to take over the South Korean car maker SsangYong has been a highly beneficial one for both the companies.  Mahindra has also created a huge wave of interest with its showcase of the Halo Couple concept EV. However, the most remarkable attempt of the company to grab the attention of the world’s audience has been the unique and mean looking Komodo IED concept.

The new Mahindra Komodo IED concept is the company’s design study, and at the moment the company has no plans to put it into production. The design was created by Mr. Makrand Patil an IED Torino graduate.

The Komodo IED concept is presented as a concept vehicle which is superbly versatile and which can cater to a various range of requirements for different off-road customers. The designer has designed the Komodo in such a way, so that it could be turned into a luxurious 4×4 drive vehicle capable of handling any sort if terrains.

Though the Komodo Concept may not actually hit the production, it sure has grabbed ample attention, and if Mahindra even considers building it, then it is certainly expected to be very unique international SUV.

The designer says that the Komodo IED concept is created drawing inspiration from the Komodo Dragons. Thus, the vehicle is meant to look very mean and aggressive and like the great lizards the vehicle is supposed to be infused with brute force as well. The concept vehicle’s front end is surely very aggressive, complete with a wide grille, bulky bonnet and stylized the headlights.

The Komodo concept seems to be having certain features of various accomplished international cars, thus giving it an overall global look. The rear design of the car is also very stylish with a swept back design and coupe like stance.

The Komodo IED concept is designed to be a highly luxurious SUV and thus, the interior could be draped in premium leather. The vehicle should also be fully loaded with various world-class features for optimal creature comfort.

The massive mean machine could be powered by a powerful 3.0 liter inline engine, which should offer enough power figures to handle any type of terrains.

The Komodo IED Concept surely looks enticing with cool, aggressive styling, luxurious features and super strong road performance. Thus, if Mahindra ever chooses to actually build this cool vehicle it should be welcomed by the customers both in India and abroad.

Mahindra Reva is keen to test the feasibility of Tesla patents on its electric vehicles

Mahindra and Mahindra an established Indian based automobile enterprise is working on developing new electric vehicles on the lines of technology patents offered by Tesla Motors. Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, one of the divisions of Mahindra Group is considering different electric vehicle projects. An interesting venture that has come to light is Halo. The expected launch date is three years from now and the concept model overwhelmed the public to no end at 2014 Auto Expo.

Reva e20

Mahindra has given detailed analysis of its collaboration with Tesla on the beneficial consequences. Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles is of the view that the offering of Tesla Patents will make the public dig deeper into the nuances of technology venture and IP. A top company official of Mahindra and Mahindra Pawan Goenka said, ‘’we have not gone through the patents, and we have to yet determine how efficiency into our electric vehicle pieces. ‘’

Elon Musk, the CEO of Palo Alto based Tesla Motors said’’ the firm will offer free Tesla products in the wake to understand the advances and beneficial impacts of electric vehicle technology.’’ His main focus is to not force lawsuits to users who are honest and keen to explore our technology. Providing minor clues into Mahindra’s interest in Tesla patents, Chetain Maini, the Vehicles Chief Executive Officer of Mahindra and Mahindra said’’ we will go through the patents and it is early to comment on the efficacy. The company finds a great deal of positivity’s with Tesla products and said it is a good move to initiate technology and patents. It is going to make the public ponder on the useful aspects of technology sharing and IP.

Tesla already has a couple of competitors BMW and Nissan; the two firms are keen to partner with Tesla Motors an esteemed US based electric firm. Tesla Motors makes all kinds of electric vehicles; few of its classic launches are Model X SUV, Model S sedan and Roadster sports car. The firm sold about 22,477 pieces in 2013 with huge investment of 2.5 billion USD.

A pioneering electric vehicle launch of Mahindra Reva is e20; it is a well appreciated car. The company has introduced attractive battery schemes to push profits. Mahindra Reva aims to introduce many more of such vehicles in the market, and also reduced the price of e20 by Rs 1.7 lakh using the monthly rental scheme.

The next big venture is Halo sports car, it will be a mega surprise, and the vehicle can cover 0 to 100kmph in below 8 seconds. On full charge it can attain sky rocketing speeds of 160kmph and spearhead through a distance of 200km. Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicle is keen to explore the possibilities of manufacturing an electric variant of Verito sedan and Maxximo a light commercial vehicle. The two vehicles will be geared up for commercialization by end of 2015.

Mahindra Reva is keen to promote the power of electric vehicles in India by reviewing patent options offered by Tesla. Its upcoming Halo project sounds great, and it will be interesting to learn of its other new electric car ventures.