Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has launched a slightly trimmed and cheaper version of XUV500 to boost flagging sales of its popular sport utility vehicle (SUV) amid challenging market conditions.
The company, on Wednesday, announced a new entry-level variant of the XUV500, the W4. It is priced at Rs.11.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Chennai).
The existing XUV500 is available at a price range upwards of Rs.12 lakh.
The company said it was making the SUV more affordable to customers with some changes in features based on feedback.
“Since customers tighten their purse strings and keen to spend less as inflation continues to bite, we have come out with a more affordable variant while retaining most of the features. No other SUV would offer such features at this price,” said Praveen Shah, chief executive-automotive division, M&M, during a conference call with the reporters.
The new variant of XUV500 is powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine delivering a power of 140 bhp, with a 6-speed transmission, according to a company statement.
The XUV500 will now be available in four models, W8 All Wheel Drive (AWD), W8 Front Wheel Drive (FWD), W6 FWD and W4 FWD
XUV500 is one of the most successful launches of M&M, and it generated record bookings after the launch in 2011. The company has sold over 74,000 units of the model. However, increased competition and hike in excise duties for SUVs pulled down sales of the SUV.
The company admitted that sales of XUV500 dropped during January-October 2013 when compared with a year-ago period, but didn’t provide the details.
The W4 model of XUV500 is targeted at buyers of sedan and compact SUVs, and M&M is hopeful of clocking higher sales for XUV range.