'No new M&M product for two years'

Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicle manufacturer, has exhausted its launch pipeline and has no new model to offer for two years, a senior executive of the company said.

During the last couple of years the Mumbai-based company had been on a launch overdrive, with the introduction of new models like the XUV500, Quanto, E2o, Verito, Verito Vibe and the Ssangyong Rexton.

The lastest new model launch by the company was the hatchback Verito Vibe launched a few months ago. No new product will mean that the company will depend on refurbishments and upgrades, coupled with new fuel options, to push sales forward.

Pawan Goenka, president (automotive and farm equipment sectors) Mahindra & Mahindra said, “We were ahead of the industry and we did all our major launches in last two years. This year we don’t have any new product launches, we do have variants for launch. Absolute new products will be launched only in FY2016”

The company is even pegging the launch of the electric Verito on the success of the all-electric Reva e2o. The compact Reva has failed to meet the sales expectations of the company with sales falling under 100 units per month as against 150-200 units per month expected by the company.

“We are working on the electric Verito, we had said that we will be ready to launch the electric Verito by the first quarter of FY2015. We have been disappointed with the sales of the E2o. We are hoping for some announcement on the subsidy (from the government) very soon. If E2o sales take off then we will launch the electric Verito as planned”, added Goenka.

Competition has caught up with M&M, with Ford garnering a healthy demand for the compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport followed by Maruti Suzuki’s robust demand for the Ertiga and General Motors eating into the sales of Xylo with the launch of Enjoy.

The Quanto, which is a shortened version of the Xylo, is facing sluggish demand with sales falling below 1,000 units per month as against the envisaged 3,000 units per month. The vehicle, which is the cheapest seven seater in the country, will also not see any upgrade this year.  

Other companies like Nissan, Maruti Suzuki and Honda are preparing to launch new products in the utility vehicle space which will further impact M&M. The company presently has only the Scorpio in the SUV space below the Rs 10 lakh price tag.