Remember we reported in detail when Mahindra worked their way around the issue of government imposing additional taxes on SUVs? Mahindra, quite cleverly, came up with a simple solution of lowering the Ground Clearance of its vehicle by simply installing a stone guard under the engine, which brought ground clearance down from 200mm to 160mm. All this resulted into XUV500 escaping the burden of additional duty for those vehicles which have ground clearance above 170mm and are being called as SUVs by the Honourable Government of India. At the buyer-end, it has resulted into the car being cheaper by almost INR 30000.
However, it seems like the wise men at Govt. have recognized how easily their parameter to measure Ground Clearance and tax a car accordingly has fallen on its face. Govt. has now come up with a new GC Measuring Procedure under which the ground clearance will be measured with vehicle being in unladen state.
Currently, the GC is being measured by the Govt. with vehicles being in a fully laden condition. With the suspension expanding under unladen conditions, the XUV500 could have its ground clearance increased by 30-40mm, thereby resulting into it getting entitled for additional tax. Lowering the stone guard won’t help Mahindra as it would make the vehicle vulnerable to scrapping its underbelly on almost every speed breaker out there. “If this new regulation comes in we won’t be able to modify our cars and will just have to accept the SUV tax” says Dr Pawan Goenka, president of M&M. “We will have to pass on the additional cost to customer” he adds (Why aren’t we surprised?).
We recommend all those wishing to buy an XUV in near future to rush to Mahindra showrooms and save as much as INR 30000 before the revised regulation comes into effect.