Mahindra Bolero sub-4m SUV codenamed U108 in the works; likely launch in second half of 2016 targetting sales of 25,000 units a year
Mahindra and Mahindra has had a roller-coaster ride in recent times only to redeem itself with the new subcompact launches TUV300 SUV and the KUV100. With the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Vitara Brezza competitor averaging 4,000 units of sale a month and the latter receiving 21,000 bookings within a month of its market unveil, all seems to be on smooth sailing for the largest Indian SUV maker but that can’t be said as the case.
By primarily being a SUV manufacturer, M&M has its own limitations as in the union budget it was informed that the cars equipped with diesel engines will have to bear 2.5 per cent tax regardless of the displacement and price range and there are regulations being put in place sooner to restrict the high displacing engines and affordable cars with bigger bodystyles much like what had unfolded at Delhi NCR.
Mahindra took us aback by introducing the downsized 1.99 turbo diesel engines in Scorpio and XUV500 exclusively for Delhi to see off the ban recently and it could be considered as a temporary measure but on a broader scale stepping into the subcompact segments has indeed put the brand back in the main frame. As tax exemptions and smaller vehicles will be quite the norm in the mass segments, Mahindra is working on a new compact version of the long-standing best-seller Bolero according to ET Auto which will incidentally become the fourth sub-4m offering.
At the brink of the launch of Mahindra Nuvosport or the facelifted Quanto in less than a week, the report broke out personifies the company’s commitment in bringing up new products much like the main competitors Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors have done. The news pointed out that the currently 4.107 mm long Bolero will be reduced in size to become a subcompact SUV taking advantage of the tax relaxations that goes with it.
Rolled out of production lines since 2000, the Mahindra Bolero is based on the Armada Grand and initially sourced a 2.5L ID diesel motor from Peugeot before the Indian brand decided to make its own oil burner of the same capacity with turbocharging and direction injection. It holds responsible for almost one-third of the total volume sales by averaging out 7,000 units monthly.
Codenamed internally as U108, the sub-4m version will see the ditching of 2.5L diesel for a smaller eco-friendly 1.5L unit. It could be launched in the second half of 2016 with the annual retail target set at 25,000 units. Amidst the slightly upmarket Scorpio receiving makeovers recently, the new Bolero will lighten up the torch as long as the next generation Scorpio due for 2018-19 hit the market.
To keep pace with the rivals, Mahindra will be persistently upgrading its product line-up as well. A seven-seater version of the TUV300 codenamed U302 is more likely to follow up before the arrival of Innova-rivalling U321 and another product internally known as U341 developed from the company’s technical centre in North America.
The Mahindra Scorpio is currently being sold at a starting price of Rs. 6.47 lakh for the base variant and Rs. 8.14 lakh for the range-topper (ex-showroom, Delhi). With the advent of the mooted sub-4m model, the prices will see a significant drop.