India's largest utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is planning to launch the smaller version of its Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) XUV 500 by the end of the current financial year, said the company on Sunday.
M&M, a celebrated name for SUVs is seemed to be gearing up for an aggressive foray into the smaller car segment in the country to push up the sales. Revealing the company's plan to roll out the compact XUV 500, its Chief Executive Automotive Division Pravin Shah told the Press Trust of India, "We constantly keep on getting customer feedback and taking that into account, we plan to launch a lower variant of XUV 500 by the end of the current fiscal."
The current version of XUV 500 which was launched in 2011 has clocked sales of 63,000 units so far. There are three variants of XUV 500 available in the country. With the launch of compact vehicles in the domestic market, M&M hopes to expand its market. Indian auto segment has been witnessing relentless decline in car sales for the past couple of months.
"In FY13, utility vehicles segment grew by 50 percent but in the first two months of this fiscal, it has grown by just 4 percent. Within the UV segment, those which have come under the extra 3 percent excise duty, sales have declined by 14 percent so far in this financial year," Shah added.
Meanwhile, the company rolled out its hatchback Verito Vibe in India on Wednesday with the price tag starting at ₹5.63 lakh. The vehicle which is powered by a 1.5 litre Renault K9K diesel engine was launched in three variants like its Verito sedan - D2, D4 and D6.