TUV300 fills the compact SUV segment for Mahindra and S101 will be priced and positioned below TUV300, but does that mean Mahindra is foraying into a new segment?
A report published by Autocarpro explains that according to senior executives of two Tier 1 component suppliers, S101 has been developed keeping in mind Maruti Suzuki's WagonR as the key competitor. S101 will also mark Mahindra's entry into the petrol vehicle market. This does not mean that Mahindra is entering into the passenger car segment. Mahindra will stick to its utility vehicle manufacturing pedigree with S101. S101 will be a crossover with SUV attributes and Mahindra will position the vehicle as micro SUV.
While speaking in the Autocar Professional Dialogue series, Dr Pawan Goenka -- executive director and president (Auto and Farm Equipment Sectors) of Mahindra -- said, "The distinction between what we call SUV, sedan is all getting blurred. When a customer is looking to buy a car, it is not necessarily "I want to buy a hatchback, I want to buy a SUV"; it is "I want to buy a car at this price point". In that price point, the customer will look at what are the offerings available and they will straddle between a hatchback, a crossover SUV and sometimes even between a hatchback and a sedan, if a sedan comes at a price point of a hatchback. So, therefore it is more of a price-point game for majority of buyers."
More importantly, the reports indicate that S101 is likely to be priced from Rs 4 lakh onwards. The WagonR range starts at Rs 3.74 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The similar price range indicates that Mahindra wants to position S101 as an alternative crossover option for prospective WagonR buyers.
S101 will come with raised ground clearance and upright stance, making it part of the pseudo crossover category in which the first entry will be the upcoming Renault Kwid. Mahindra's sub-four metre compact SUV will be built on a new monocoque platform that will underpin a variety of future Mahindra models. The vehicle is likely to draw power from a range of 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engine options that Mahindra is perfecting with testing around the country. The model is also rumoured to be equipped with the AMT variant.