Indian brands in UK
Tata Motors outbids the Mahindra & Mahindra in Ford’s Land Rover sale, but it seems that this does not make any impact on Mahindra’s global ambition. Mahindra has already announced it will foray into american market soon and it is already selling scorpio in Italy,France,spain (sold as Mahindra Goa) and in most africa and latin american countries. Now mahindra want to sell scorpios to United Kingdom the country which ruled india for almost 150 years. But Mahindra is not the only manufacturer eyeing european market, India’s first passenger car maker has already announced it will again launch its entire range in UK market. It is already working on hybrid indica specifically european market like UK where emission norms are tougher. Few years back, Tata Motors sold its popular hatchback Indica in UK market in alliance with MG rover between. But it stopped selling indica’s on account of poor sales. India’s only electric car manufacturer Reva’s G-Wiz is one of the top selling electric car in UK.
Launch and the dealer network
Mahindra plans to launch the Scorpio SUV in Britain next summer, along with two versions of a Scorpio pickup truck, and claims it is close to sealing a deal with the IM Group, distributor of Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu vehicles in the UK, which would allow it to sell through IM’s British dealership network. IM is remaining tight-lipped about the deal, saying only that talks are in progress, but Mahindra says it hopes to sell 2,000 vehicles annually in the first two years and already has plans to launch further SUV-style cars in the UK as soon as possible.
But Mahindra has to sell scorpio’s against much superiors range rovers which are leap ahead of scorpio in styling, engineering, performance and safety. But Mahindra hopes increasing trend of hating gas guzzlers will help scorpio in a big way. Ya, mahindra is betting on scorpio’s superior fuel efficiency and its bargain-basement price tag. Scorpio will be priced around £13,000 in UK, making it by far the cheapest large SUV on the market and the least expensive seven-seater. This means scorpio is cheaper by almost £10,000 than Hyundai’s santa Fe(one of the top selling SUV in UK). “The price is our USP [unique selling point],” says Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra’s automotive sector. “We have the lowest-priced comparable vehicle in all the markets we’re in, and hopefully we give good value to the customer.”
Earlier in 2007, Anand Mahindra, the company’s vice-chairman and managing director, told “We want to be the next Land Rover. Why can’t an Indian company be the next Land Rover?” If Mahindra is really serious about this, it i going to be tough battle for the company, Mahindra has to bulldoze huge barricades. It has to revamp (not to produce) the image of the asian manufacturers in the eyes of europeans. Since, most of the europeans think asian cars are unreliable and copycats. Jeremy Clarkson (popularly known as JC) of TopGear once described Tata Indica as one of the worst cars, he ever driven. Infact they initially hesitated to accept Honda’s and Toyota’s. Goenka acknowledges the company will need to work hard to win over British buyers. “Clearly with any new market we have to overcome image problems,” he concedes. “But slowly Mahindra is establishing its brand, and Mahindra is not a new company: we have been in business for more than 60 years and we hope that people will have confidence in our quality.”
CO2 and crash test
Another big challenge is complying the strigent euopean safety and emission norms. Since unlike asians, European consumers used to make note of crash test figures when they look for cars. Also, you cannot be pollutive in europe since this may escalate the running cost of the vehicle for the owner which in turn means people keep away the polluters. Especially with Euro V round the corner (in 2008) and Euro VI in 2013 it is going to be a uphill task for Mahindra. Mahindra claims the Scorpio will meet the obligatory “type approval” safety criteria for mass-produced cars in Europe and has the potential to send a shockwave through the industry, undercutting more established brands and making it even harder for hard-pressed European manufacturers to compete. So far, Mahindra has not releases CO2 emissions figure for the Scorpio, it says, “Scoprio is in line with other diesel vehicles in this weight class sold in western Europe.”
Mahindra started out in 1945, assembled American Willys Jeeps under licence from 1949, and today is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tractors. Mahindra is the fourth largest vehicle seller in india. Mahindra first forayed into the Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It sold rebadged Jeeps, including the Indian Chief.
Scorpio is one of the largest selling SUVs in India clocking sales around 6000 units a month.
Mahindra recently strapped a new 2.2 litre diesel engine under the hood of the scorpio and christened it as ‘Scorpio m_Hawk’. Mahindra will bring this version of scorpio to the UK. Scorpio m_Hawk produces 120bhp at 4000 rpm and it capable reaching a top speed of 100mph. It develops 206 lb-ft of torque in a wide range of 1600 – 2800rpm. Fuel efficiency in the combined cycle is 27mpg.
Click here to go to official webpage Mahindra Scorpio m_Hawk
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