The demand for utility vehicles was growing since July and Tata Motors was commanding a share of 17 per cent in the overall utility vehicles segment, according to S. G. Saxena, Head of utility vehicles business, Tata Motors.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, after launching Grande MK II, an upgraded version of its premium Sumo offering, Mr. Saxena said the vehicles were priced in the range of Rs.6.48 lakh to Rs.7.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Chennai). These vehicles were cheaper than the earlier version by Rs. 22,000-30,000. This was because the company could pass on the benefits of cost-control measures in the manufacture of vehicles. Other factors included reduction in excise duty in the stimulus package announced by the Government and the low interest rate scenario, he said. The company had tied up with nine financiers for funding of Grande MK II, he added.

According to K. Vijay Menon, Regional Manager (Kerala and Tamil Nadu), the utility vehicles market in Tamil Nadu had grown by 4 per cent in April-November particularly with a growing demand since July. By the end of the financial year, he expected a growth of 8 per cent. The southern region contributed 30 per cent of total utility vehicle sales, he said. The launch of Grande MK II would help the company increase its market share to 20-21 per cent, Mr. Menon said.

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