Mahindra will launch a global MPV at its forthcoming technical center in US

Mahindra and Mahindra is an esteemed Indian based auto firm and has widespread overseas operations. The company has lately launched North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in the city of Troy in Michigan. The aim is to showcase its rich talent in the country. Mahindra has earned a prestigious name in US and South Africa; its SUV’s are sold like wildfire in both countries. On the topic of introducing MNATC in US, the president and executive director of Mahindra, Dr Pawan Goenka said, ‘’we are continuing with our robust operations in Europe and will develop a new utility vehicle at US technical center. The car will be sold to the public by 2017.

Mahindra Xylo D2 maxx

Mahindra Xylo D2 maxx

The company has already formatted a plan to grille the operation and will hire about 35 engineers to perform the task in North American Technical Centre. Mahindra will work on operation efficacies to develop a utility vehicle and it is a global launch inclusive of India. The firm will introduce new products in domestic market that will undergo production in the company’s esteemed operation unit in Chennai called Mahindra Research Valley. Ardent Mahindra fans can look forward to a range of thrilling products. By 2016 the firm will introduce three new utility vehicles exclusive of the new Scorpio facelift.

So much attention is concentrated on Mahindra’s new products; the S101 was spotted several times by car enthusiasts. The car will arrive in 2015 and so many camouflaged images of the car have been captured. Mahindra will develop the car on joint partnership basis with Ssangyong. The other models to look forward to is new Scorpio facelift and next gen Bolero.

The power of Mahindra is widespread; the firm is also working on introducing an assembly unit in Brazil. The initiative is to work around the stringent tax regime imposed by the Brazilian government. Heavy tax duties are awarded to nations that do not hold a wholly developed research and development center. It is interesting to hear of Mahindra’s aim to launch MNATC. The timing is perfect as well to expand its overseas growth output during the current intense global automobile competition.

Mahindra has achieved tremendous acclaim in the big car market, which is its main specialty. Few of its classic products are XUV500, Scorpio, Xylo and Quanto. All these sell like wild fire in South Africa and America, the auto market in India is among the most acclaimed in the globe. The past couple of years have been turbulent for the auto sector in the country and Mahindra is among the many nations to be affected. To fight through the rigorous competition, the company plans to introduce new surprises into its products. The upcoming Scorpio facelift will have cosmetic modifications and the interiors are a modern version of its predecessor inspired by XUV500. The same strategy is used in S101, from the spy images sources have discovered that most of the features are kind of similar to XUV500 and have even called it XUV300. The same effect can be expected with the forthcoming global MPV.

XUV500 Sportz exclusivity beyond words

Mahindra and Mahindra an established auto manufacturer lately launched a sporty version of XUV500 called XUV500 Sportz. The development is somewhat related to the most loaded W8 car. It costs Rs 13.28 lakhs which is dearer than W8 car by Rs 25,000. It is a special launch and only 1,000 units of the vehicle is available.

Mahindra XUV500 SUV Red Front

Mahindra XUV500 SUV Red

XUV500 is a stunner all over the globe, what is special about the Sportz variant of the car. The exteriors and interiors are intensified with black and red body decals on bonnet also on doors. The door handles, roof rails and fog lights are layered with sparkling red headlights. The other modifications that define its sporty status is the fitment on Sportz logo and red inserts on C pillar.

XUV500 is appreciated for its super enriched interiors, the insides of XUV500 Sportz is enriched to the core with 6 inch touch screen with back camera. The other technological enhancements and interesting traits are electrical outer rear view mirrors, LED parking lights, automatic wipers and headlights, climate control and robust micro-hybrid technology. Nothing has changed on the mechanical front; the vehicle will run on the same mHawk six speed transmission engine that pumps out 330Nm.

On the launch of XUV500 Sport the CEO in the automotive division of Mahindra and Mahindra Vivek Nair said, ‘’we have sold more than 30,000 pieces of the car in 2013 to 14 financial year. The launch of XUV500 Sportz is a reflection of the company’s extensive commitment to bring in exclusivity to the product line up. ‘’

XUV500 Sportz is a thrilling vehicle to look forward to; so much of excitement is inscribed on the exteriors and interiors. Mahindra has used a creative theme for its exteriors garnished with the unique red and black decals on doors and bonnet. It is not always that consumers will get to explore a sporty XUV500 Sportz model painted in jazzy red and black. It is a unique feeling to ride in a car where fog lights sparkle to the core with jazzy red headlights. The feel can be compared to a sci-fi model.

XUV500 has thrilled the public to no end for years, with its phenomenal sporty and stylish stature. The design of the car is inspired by the swift movement of cheetah the fastest animal on the planet. The insides are overloaded with excitement there is a 6 inch touchscreen or monochrome display. The cabin room is enormously spacious to effectively accommodate seven occupants. There are cup holders between cool knob and gear box, there is an advanced music system with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connectivity. All three rows have mobile charging points. There are rain sensing wipers and the other features to look forward to are camping lamps, door ajar lamps, entry assist lamp and puddle lamps. There is an umbrella holder as well.

XUV500 is just unique beyond words; the inspiration with the car is not just restricted to XUV500 Sportz, but concentrated on the forthcoming Scorpio facelift and S101.

Mahindra depends on its SUV and tractor busyness to sustain two-wheeler biz

The Indian vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra is the leading utility vehicle maker in the country. It is also the largest tractor maker in the world by volumes. However, the company is not that lucky with its two wheeler business. Mahindra & Mahindra entered the two-wheeler business only 5 years back taking over Kinetic Motors. Though Mahindra does offer some very capable motorcycles and scooters in the Indian market, its sales have been lackluster owing to strong market competition from dominating two-wheeler makers.

mahindra bolero

The company’s vice chairman, Anand Mahindra brought the non-profitable two wheelers division under the profit making automotive & farm equipment sector that is looked after by executive director, Dr. Pawan Goenka.

Now, Dr. Goenka has made a new plan in which the Mahindra motorcycles will be aimed at the rural markets and will be sold through the tractor dealers across the country. This is a really novel idea and a unique move as well, but Goenka believes that this will work.

The primary reason behind this is that Mahindra & Mahindra is traditionally a company that has been aimed at the rural markets. Being a trusted and very popular tractor maker, it has strong market presence and faith in the rural regions in India. It fact its Bolero SUV is also primarily targeted at the rural markets. The popularity of the Bolero which is also popular in the urban markets is undeniable and the idea of pushing cool looking sturdy bikes to the rural consumers through the tractor dealers might as well work very well.

Mahindra two wheelers witnessed 35 percent of its total sales coming from the rural markets last month. Goenka says that while the rural customers are also very sensible just like the urban consumers and do not believe that great tractor makers can make an equally great bike. However, there will be still some customers who would just buy a Mahindra motorcycle on blind faith for the brand itself, while the others will definitely need amount of convincing.

The very potent tractor and SUV maker, though have other things to worry about. On one hand, its passenger car business that comprises of its utility vehicle is experiencing a bit of slow sales. Though the Scorpio, Bolero and even the premium XUV500 are selling in good number, with the first two models’ popularity on the rise, Mahindra is experiencing low demands in the overall market. On the other hand, the company is worried sick about this year’s poor monsoon season which is bringing very inadequate amounts of rainfall. The monsoon this year has been late than usual and is still not bringing good rain. As the farmer’s income is mostly dependent on a good monsoon, this will be hampered. As a result the company’s tractor sales are expected to lackluster this year.

Mahindra & Mahindra is also getting very tough competition due to the advent of the compact SUVs that Mahindra does not have. Thus, the company is working on full swing to bring on an array of new SUVs.

Mahindra busy working on a potent Ford EcoSport rival

The compact SUV is one of the most lucrative and popular segments in India today. This gives almost all the major car makers in India enough reason to come up with their own compact SUV representative. The saga began with the Renault Duster coming to India which instantly won over the young, urban Indians and grabbed huge profits. It went ahead to become the top-selling SUV in India in a very short time. Then Ford came along with its urban SUV EcoSport which heightened the excitement of the baby SUVs even more. Then again, came the Terrano from the Japanese car maker Nissan. This made the compact SUV market grow considerably and also made the Duster’s sales fall a bit. Currently, the Ford EcoSport is the most popular baby SUV in India. The EcoSport is a sub-4 meter compact suv, which makes it super affordable owing to its excise duty benefits that it gets from the government.

Mahindra S101 spied

Mahindra S101 spied

At present, a huge number of car makers including the Indian car market leader Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, Volkswagen and Tata Motors are all working on their respective compact or sub-compact SUVs to take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport or Renault Duster.

Indian home grown SUV leader, Mahindra & Mahindra is severely hurt and worried as it does not have any true baby SUV in the market. Despite having a wide range of utility vehicle and some bestselling SUVs such as the Scorpio and Bolero, Mahindra lacks a proper compact or sub-compact SUV. At present it only has the Quanto which is actually the slashed down version of the Xylo and is fast losing out in popularity. In order to tap the superb compact SUV market, Mahindra is planning to launch a slew of sub-4 meter compact and the larger sub-compact SUV models in India in the next two years’ time. Among these the most imminent launch of a compact SUV from Mahindra is the S101. The Mahindra S101 compact SUV is going to be a sub-4 meter SUV and will be pitched against the very popular Ford EcoSport.

Mahindra has been testing its sub-4 meter S101 compact SUV for quite some time now in India. It has been spied a lot of time as well. The SUV is still known by its codename S101 and it is expected to be an affordable compact SUV owing to the excise duty benefits. Though measuring less than 4-meters in length, the S101 is expected to offer good interior space, great features and attractive exterior design language.

The Mahindra S101 compact SUV is expected to be coming in both its petrol and diesel avatars. The S101 will be powered by an entire new range of petrol as well as diesel engines that Mahindra is developing along with its South Korean subsidiary SsangYong Motor; these are expected to be compact and powerful 1.2 liter turbocharged engines. The upcoming Mahindra S101 is expected to be priced between Rs. 6 to Rs. 10 lakhs and launch in 2015.

Mahindra Reva e2o caught testing in the craggy, harsh cold Losar

An electric vehicle is a thing that the Indian populace has yet to accept. The electric vehicle is surely a much needed vehicle for the world, considering the grime pollution issue. However, this all green vehicle has its own limitations in terms of range, power and also time for charging. Thus, a battery powered electric vehicle is purely an urban car, meant for the city dwellers within a specified range. Thus, finding an electric vehicle in a rough and rugged hilly place is as awkward as finding a peacock on a city road.

Reva e20

Mahindra Reva e20

Recently Mahindra Reva e2o was found testing in Losar, he was definitely wonderstruck. Losar is a very tough and hostile Himalayan town located close to Chandrataal Lake. This small town in the Himachal Pradesh is a treat for the eyes and surely looks closer to the moon both in terms of natural beauty as well as its craggy surface.

The greater surprise was that the all electric passenger car e2o was actually testing in Losar. The auto journalist investigated this rare phenomenon and found out that the particular Mahindra e2o that was testing in Losar was a 72 volts version, as against the 48 volts models currently available in the market. Losar is situated at a massive 13,400 feet above sea level and was experiencing the lowest temperatures when the cool EV was being tested.

A team from Mahindra was actually using the weather conditions of Losar to replicate the wintry European temperatures to test the e2o and ensure its efficiency in such conditions, as the Indian car major has all plans to export the car to Europe soon enough. The Mahindra team testing the e2o was camping in Losar for 15 days to fully test the e2o. What’s so special about the bitter cold temperatures you ask? Well it is a well known fact that engine’s take longer to warm up and respond in very cold weather conditions, and for the battery driven EVs this is even worse. The batteries perform below their real potential in bitter cold temperatures. The e2o is claimed to go good for 110kms on a full charge, while the team in Losar were trying to achieve a 134kms range. They also revealed that the company is also contemplating to equip the car with a liquid cooling system.

The Mahindra team also revealed that a potent Electric Sedan with a good price is on cards and should be launched in India in about a couple of years, while a 4-door version of e2o is also being planned. On the other hand, it is learned that Mahindra Reva’s CEO Chetan Maini has ruled out the plans for a possible ‘Plug-in’ hybrid, as that would not go with the company’s all green agenda.

To the car journalist’s surprise, the city specific Mahindra Reva e2o handled the craggy roads of Losar quite nicely, thanks to its high ground clearance, while a diesel generator was used to charge its battery pack.

Mahindra to study Tesla patents for their electric vehicles

Mahindra has been working towards development of efficient and futuristic products in Indian market. After REVA was taken over by Mahindra, they have been developing new and innovative electric vehicles under the name. They have been targeting to make electric vehicles more practical and feasible for everyday use. They also showcased the impressive Halo concept at the Auto Expo 2014. It is powered by a 140 bhp electric motor which can propel it from 0-100 kmph in 8 seconds.

Mahindra rise new logo

Mahindra Rise New Logo

With the ever increasing pollution around the globe, electric vehicles are being seen as the best alternative to the internal combustion based vehicles. Electric vehicles have no emissions at all and the performance is quite impressive. The electric motors produce lot of torque making these vehicles quick but still there is a lot of scope for improvement. The ranges of these vehicles are limited by the battery capacity & motor efficiency and new technologies are evolving to improve these factors.

Tesla, the US based electric vehicle manufacturer recently announced that they will be making their technology patents available free for development. This would allow for advancement in electric vehicles that we see in future. Soon after this announcement, BMW and Nissan showed interest in their technology as both of them have been developing electric vehicles as well. BMW has got it’s I line of products which offer excellent performance and are eco-friendly. Nissan makes the popular electric car called Leaf. Mahindra REVA has always shown interest in these patents so that they can study them and figure out if they will be of help to them.

Mahindra REVA CEO, Chetan Maini announced that Mahindra will review the Tesla patents although it isn’t sure for now if they will be using the technology. He appreciated Tesla’s move as this is a sector where development is needed and this would help other manufacturers make use of their innovations to create better products for future. Due to this move, different manufacturers will come forward for developing new products. Tesla has got some impressive electric cars that are not only eco-friendly but offer high performance to match the liquid powered alternatives. They launched the Tesla Model S a while back which became quite popular unlike any other electric car and they will soon be coming up with the Model X.

Mahindra REVA updated their electric car a while back and introduced it in a modern avatar. They are developing other products as well and they introduced a new scheme to reduce ownership costs of REVA vehicles. This battery rental scheme for the E2O would allow the owners to rent the battery for a period of 5 years for a monthly fee. This brings down the asking price of the car by almost INR 1.7 lakhs. To make things easy for the owners, they have installed multiple charging stations in Bangalore and will install more in other cities as well. These Quick2Charge charging stations can completely charge the car battery in just an hour.

Mahindra Scorpio facelift spied testing

Mahindra Scorpio has been a successful model for Mahindra and apart from some minor tweaks, there hasn’t been any major change for a while. The most prominent one was when the 2.2 litre mHawk diesel engine replaced the old 2.6 litre oil burner. The vehicle also received a major facelift along with the change of powertrain. The changes that were introduced back then have been carried to the model being sold now except for minor changes like the bumpers and headlamps.

Mahindra Scorpio Facelift left

Mahindra Scorpio Facelift left

Now they are working on a new Scorpio that will be released around this festive season. This time they are going for a more comprehensive update of this model. This new updated version is being tested for a while now and has been spotted multiple times while being tested. In the spy shots we have now, most of the bits that are supposed to be changed are covered but still they are quite prominent.

On the front face, it is evident that they have changed the headlamps. They appear to be sharper now and flow inwards at an angle. It isn’t clear yet if it is going to have projection lamps or standard halogen lamps. The grille design seems to be changed as well although the changes are minor and dimensions are same as well. The other changes include a redesigned bumper which is a bit wider and protrudes out more. They have also made changes to the bonnet scoop as well which is flatter and wider now.

On the side there aren’t many changes to be seen. The side profile of the new car looks very much like the old car and there aren’t any visible changes to be spotted at the moment due to the heavy camouflage it has been wearing. Even if there are any changes, it would some new lines and new graphics on the side. The alloys have got a new design though and look better than the ones we have seen on the current model. Just like the sides, there aren’t many changes to be seen on the rear as well. The dimensions look very much similar to the current Scorpio. Under the camouflage, most of the details are hidden but the proportions can be seen. The door and bumper look the same and so does the tail lamp. However it is being said that the update will have LED tail lamps which will look better but retain similar shape.

The changes will be carried inside as well. The quality of material and design of dashboard has improved considerably. There is a new instrument cluster and steering wheel carried from the XUV 500. It would still be propelled by the same mHawk engine which is doing job in the current Scorpio. It develops a peak power of 120 bhp and peak torque of 290 Nm in Scorpio. It would get a 5 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox. The vehicle is expected to be launched in the last quarter of this year.

Mahindra says no concrete plans for plant in Brazil

It was in the news that Mahindra is planning to have a manufacturing facility in Brazil after the recent taxes levied by the country on auto manufacturers. Contradicting to that statement, Mahindra and Mahindra has recently issued a statement at National Stock Exchange that they have no concrete plans to set up new manufacturing facility in Brazil. Mr. Pawan Goenka, Director and President, Mahindra & Mahindra, said that they are currently considering the move and weighing the benefits of having a production plant in Brazil to save the heavy taxes being imposed.

Mahindra rise new logo

Mahindra Rise New Logo

The news that was released in the media was more of a general nature discussion. The news was that to price their products competitively in Brazil, they might consider the option of setting up a manufacturing plant in Brazil. It isn’t a definite plan yet. They have got a presence in the Brazilian market for a while. Their products are assembled in Manaus by their Brazilian partner Bramont.

This news came in light because of the recent changes in the tax imposed on the auto manufacturers there. The Inovar Auto incentive program was introduced few years back to support local development. This programme would be effective till 2017 and would affect manufacturers who import large number of components. The tax support for automakers that source part locally would promote local development and design of products. This makes the import uncompetitive due to added costs.

These changes won’t affect the manufacturers who already have a facility in the country. Mahindra with their current partner and their assembly facility aren’t able to achieve required level of localisation. Brazil is an important market for all major manufacturers. It is the seventh largest automobile market and last year, almost 2.8 million vehicles rolled out of showrooms in Brazil. The number is just shy of the number of vehicles sold in India.

Currently Mahindra is selling the Scorpio SUV and the Scorpio based Getaway pickup in Brazil. There are various other markets where they cater with their products. In South Africa, Australia and Italy, they have got their own sales setup. In many other markets, they have got distribution partners on which they rely to sell their various products like the XUV 500, Scorpio, Quanto to name a few. They also assemble products in Egypt with the help of their local partners there.

These days they are working on the updated Mahindra Scorpio which will be launched soon. There are a lot of spy shots and renders floating around the internet these days. They are also working on a compact SUV to compete against the likes of Ford EcoSport and many other upcoming products in the category. For this new product, they have developed an entirely new platform and as they didn’t have any petrol engines in the portfolio, a 1.2 litre petrol engine as well. The diesel option will be carried forward from the Mahindra Quanto which is a 1.5 litre turbocharged unit generating 100 bhp. A new model of their popular model Bolero is in pipeline as well.

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.