The refreshed Mahindra Scorpio is about to be launched soon. However, to boost their sales figures and make a strong comeback as a preferred brand for SUV buyers in India, homegrown automaker Mahindra has lined up three new compact SUV’s which will be launched within the next two years. Mahindra is still the local leader in utility vehicle sales, but its market share has fallen to 42% at the end of the fiscal year through March 2014 from more than 55% two years earlier.
All the three vehicles will be less than four metres long, a segment that industry experts say is going to be a key driver of passenger vehicle sales. Also, Mahindra’s first compact SUV, the Quanto is getting ready for a major midlife facelift.
The three vehicles have been codenamed as S101, U215 and 301. The S101, which has been spied several times across the country will be pitted as an alternative to premium hatchbacks, while the U215 is currently being designed at Mahindra’s design centre in Italy. It will be positioned between the S101 and the replacement for the Bolero, the U301. There are reports that the U301 may co-exist with the Bolero, where Mahindra might follow Maruti’s strategy of offering an alternative at every Rs 50,000-80,000 price point. The S101 will follow a car like design language, whereas the U215 and the new Quanto will look more rugged and will carry an SUV like appearance. Amongst the three, the U301 will look the boldest and will look somewhat like the Jeep Wrangler.
The Quanto face-lift will be an interim model for Mahindra, before an all-new Quanto, based on the U321 platform, currently being developed in the US, hits the market in 2017. The lineup of compact SUVs planned by the company is to not just take on existing rivals, but also react proactively to upcoming competition from the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Honda, who too have lined up sub-4-meter SUVs for launch in the coming two-three years. Mahindra also plans to revamp the lifestyle offroader Thar, which will get an underpinning of the U platform.