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M&M's new global SUV to hit roads by Dec-end

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Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today said it will launch its new global sport utility vehicle, XUV 500 in the domestic market and South Africa simultaneously by December-end.

Designed and developed entirely in-house by M&M, the new SUV is Mahindra's first global offering with significant inputs in styling and development taken from customers across the globe.

"We plan to sell the XUV 500 in India and South Africa before its introduction in other global markets. I am confident that the XUV 500 will follow the footsteps of its illustrious predecessors to evolve into an iconic brand," M&M President for Automotive and Farm Equipment Business Pawan Goenka told reporters here.

The auto giant will manufacture the new SUV at its Chakan plant near Pune, Goenka said.

Besides South Africa, the company also targets European, African, Australian and Latin American markets for this model.

"We will target some other markets also. The starting price of the XUV 500 would be between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 20 lakh," he said.

Goenka, however, did not divulge details of the new product.

The company plans to utilise Ssanyong Motor global distribution network for the new SUV to tap the market.

On festive season, he said, "We have done well in our August sales. We expect good sales during the coming festive season."

Meanhwhile, in a statement issued in New Delhi M&M said the XUV 500 has been conceptualised with the aim of creating an altogether new category between the Scorpio and high-end SUVs Generation X as the target customer.

It has been designed entirely in-house at M&M's research and development facility the Mahindra Research Valley at Chennai.

The company carried out consumer research in various western markets, South Africa and India, with testing and validation of the product was done across Europe, Australia and South Africa among others, M&M said.

At present, M&M's flagship SUV is the Scorpio.