Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), on Wednesday, launched its premium sports utility vehicle (SUV), the Rexton, in India. This is the first product launched by M&M from the portfolio of Korean subsidiary Ssangyong.

The third generation Rexton is priced at Rs.17.67 lakh for the RX5 manual transmission version, and Rs.19.67 lakh for the RX7 automatic transmission version (ex-showroom Mumbai). It is being offered in four colours — Satin White, Moondust Silver, Volcano Black and Opulent Purple.

M&M bought a 70 per cent stake in the ailing Ssangyong of South Korea for $463 million (around Rs.2,100 crore) in March 2011. Rexton is sold in 70 countries.

Chakan plant

Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment sectors, M&M, and Chairman, SsangYong Motor Company, said, “The product will be badged as Ssangyong Rexton by Mahindra in India. While M&M brings the assurance of the brand, Ssangyong brings performance, style and power.”

Rexton is manufactured and assembled at the Chakan plant with components sourced from Korea and India. The Rexton production will involve an investment of over Rs.63 crore. “UV penetration has been low in India at 14-15 per cent but has gone up to 22 per cent with new entrants. We will start with a 5,000-unit annual capacity. The local value addition is 22 per cent, and we will consider localising further depending on the response,” said Pravin Shah, Chief Executive-Automotive Division, M&M.

But Mr. Goenka said, “a 100 per cent localisation is unlikely but local content will increase with an increase in sales.”

M&M sold 22,000 plus SUVs in September 2012; growing 32 per cent in the first-half. Mr. Shah said the Quanto had more than 5,000 bookings in three weeks while the XUV 500, launched a year ago, had sold 36,000 units with 14,000 bookings.

Rexton comes with premium leather upholstery, 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, auto day and night internal rear-view mirror and dual tone beige and black interiors. It has a touch-screen 6-inch infotainment system with GPS navigation, DVD, CD, MP3, USB and fully automatic climate control system.

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