The Indian auto manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra is collaborating with its Korean subsidiary, SsangYong Motors to launch an SUV in the sub- 4m category which has been named the Mahindra Ssangyong S101. The vehicle in perspective is an SUV in its body styling but will cut down on its length as the auto manufacturer wants the vehicle to fit in to the sub-four meter segment. The vehicle is being viewed as an attempt made by Mahindra and Mahindra, a leading player in the automobile industry, to provide its customers with a reasonably low priced SUV but which would come with world class equipment within it. The Mahindra Ssangyong S101 is going to be a very compact SUV, which could come to the market with a very low price below the Rs.4 lacs mark.
Mahindra and Mahindra is regarded as one of the top SUV manufacturers in India and as of now 7 of its models are available in the Indian market. Five of these available vehicles are SUVs and include the Mahindra Scorpio, the Mahindra Bolero, the Mahindra Scorpio W, the Mahindra XUV500 and the Mahindra Thar. The company also has an MPV in the Mahindra Xylo and its only sedan in the market, the Mahindra Verito. Among these, the latest offering from the stables of the company has been the Mahindra XUV 500, which was launched into the market at an introductory price of Rs.10.80 lakh. Mahindra along with its South Korean subsidiary SsangYong Motor Company, which it had acquired in 2010, are working jointly towards this latest SUV, Mahindra Ssangyong S101. Mahindra has secured 70% share in SsangYong and has invested Rs.2,105 crore for the same. The aim behind this acquisition was to improve the product range of the Company as well as to boost its overseas sales. The two firms are working jointly and sharing technology for bringing in new products to the markets. It is expected that the South Korean auto manufacturer is going to come with five facelift variants within 2013 and also introduce four new cars by the year 2016. Both the companies are collaborating with each other for expanding their global presence.
The car variant from Mahindra and Mahindra that commands the least price till date is the Mahindra Thar, which has a pricing of Rs.4.47 lakh. All this is going to change very soon with the company planning to launch its SUV at the below Rs. 4 lakh mark. It looks like that Mahindra plans to achieve the same with its Mahindra Ssangyong S101 as Tata achieved with its Nano. Pricing of this SUV boosts Mahindra’s claim of making the cheapest SUV in the whole world. In fact, this SUV is being offered at the price bracket of hatchbacks. It is not only the price factor that the Mahindra Ssangyong S101 is going to woo its customers with; the SUV has been provided with stylish looks as well. The reduction in length of the SUV was the core factor responsible for bringing down the cost of the vehicle in the Indian market. Government of India regulations charge 10% excise duty for sub-four meter vehicles whereas the same goes up to 22% if the vehicle crosses the four meter mark. This is a regulation that Mahindra has taken advantage of. The pricing also drops down because mostly localized auto components have been used for its manufacture.
In lines with its desired compactness, the Mahindra Ssangyong S101 has adopted the similar single shelled design that has also been provided to the XUV 500. Spacing between auto parts in this vehicle has been kept to a minimum. A huge team of engineers have been deployed by the car manufacturer to ensure that certain innovative features can be provided to the Mahindra Ssangyong S101. With the teams from both the companies working on this project for the past one year, it is expected that the vehicle could roll out into the market within the next couple of years. It has been revealed by certain sources that the manufacturer is working on a latest platform that is going to provide the vehicle its desired compactness. Mahindra is developing this unit at its manufacturing unit at Chakan near Pune.
Variants being planned:
It is expected that the Mahindra Ssangyong S101 is going to be offered in two variants – petrol as well as diesel. The petrol engine that is going to be provided will have 1.2L capacity whereas the diesel variant will have a capacity of 1.5L. The Mahindra Ssangyong S101 is expected to be very fuel efficient and is expected to almost match the hatchbacks in this aspect. It will however score over cars of similar size as it is being provided with off the road drivability. Consumers are particularly going to be thrilled at the experience of driving these cars. The unique combination of a vehicle, high in fuel efficiency and at the same time delivering power packed performance off the road, is something that has not been experienced previously and could turn out to be the USP for this vehicle. Though there is significant time for the Mahindra Ssangyong S101 to be launched, it is already being compared with the Skoda Yeti, which is also a car belonging to the segment of compact SUVs, having a 4.22m length. However, this is where the comparison ends given the price of the Mahindra Ssangyong S101 at sub Rs.4 lakh and the Yeti catering to premium buyers at Rs.15 lakh. Hence, it is expected that the Mahindra Ssangyong S101 will be untouched in its category and could bring forth a revolution in the Indian auto industry.