Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has unveiled a new-look Verito. The latest avatar of this sedan marks a whole new journey for M&M, which was jointly producing Logan with Renault. The alliance ended in early 2010, and M&M renamed Logan as Verito last year. With the launch of a new-look Verito, the Mahindras have put the past firmly behind.

According to Arun Malhotra, Senior Vice-President (Sales & Customer Care, Automotive Division), the core vehicle is the same, as the “basic product is good”. There are about 23 changes in the new Verito, making it ‘seductive’ with attractive style quotient.

M&M has launched two variants of petrol and three of diesel Verito. The price of petrol version is Rs.5.30 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai for BS4), and that of diesel Rs.6.30 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai for BS4). These will be available in eight colours.

Mr. Malhotra said M&M had been working hard for the last one-and-a-half years on this new Verito in tandem with the Mahindra Research Valley at Mahindra World City near here. To a question, he indicated a ‘development cost’ of around Rs.40 crore on the new Verito.

In an interaction with this correspondent, he said that the company sold 10,400 units of Mahindra XUV 500 in the first quarter of this year. Though people predicted XUV500 to cannibalise Scorpio, it never happened, Mr. Malhotra said. In fact, Scorpio sale, too, had gone up, he pointed out. In this context, he said XUV 500 sold 40 per cent more than the combined sales of six products of competitors in this category. So much so, M&M had to ramp up production of XUV 500 to 4,000 units a month.

To a question, he admitted that the automobile scene “is tough’’. There were very many concerns, he said. Yet, he pointed to the under-penetration in the Indian market. He was confident that M&M would put an improved show this year. In the first quarter, he said, the volume growth was 24 per cent.