Pune, Sep 29 (IANS) Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra Thursday launched its premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) -- XUV500 - with an introductory price ranging from Rs.10.8 lakh to Rs.12.88 lakh (ex-showroom price Delhi).
'This is our premium offering aimed at the global market with a very competitive price. We believe the car will expand the market for us and create a new category for itself,' Mahindra Group vice-chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra said here at a press conference.
According to the company, the introductory price for the vehicle would remain the same for two to three months. The price revision would depend upon future commodity prices.
The car has three variants, all in diesel, and offers the option of a four-wheel drive.
All the three variants of the car would be produced at the company's Chakan plant, located on the outskirts of Pune with an initial capacity of 2,000 units per month.
'Initially, we will be having production capacity of 2,000 units per month. Going forward we will ramp it up as per the response we receive,' Pawan Goenka, Mahindra & Mahindra president for automotive and farm equipment, said.
'The car is open for bookings and we have around 1,000 cars ready to be delivered at our dealers and customers,' Goenka added.
The XUV500 was developed over a period of four years at the company's Chennai facility at a development cost of Rs.650 crore. The company also developed - at a cost of Rs.200 crore - a 2.2-litre M-Hawk engine that gives a maximum power output of 140 bhp and a 15.1 km per litre mileage for the SUV.
'We have worked from the design stage upwards to control as much cost as we can. This is why we are able to offer the car in such a price range, such a high mileage and a superb SUV,' Rajan Wadhera, chief executive, technology, product development and sourcing, Mahindra and Mahindra, told IANS.
The engine is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox which is also developed by Mahindra. The company is now developing an automatic transmission version for the SUV.
Mahindra officials said that the new SUV is expected to raise the company's exports substantially, which are pegged at 2,500 units per month.
'XUV500 would be lunched in Johannesburg, South Africa, tomorrow and within the next six months would be launched globally in south America, Australia and SAARC countries,' Pravin Shah, chief executive, (international operations) automotive and farm sectors told IANS.
'The car would be manufactured here and then shipped to South Africa. But we also have fully-owned operations in South Africa, which can also manufacture the product. The operations can supply the SUV to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland,' added Shah.
According to Shah, the company would later decide on manufacturing of the product in the foreign countries like Brazil and Egypt where it has manufacturing capabilities.