After all the action in the mid-size entry level segment, the focus has now shifted to the SUV segment. While Mahindra & Mahindra launched Mahindra Getaway American, Ford announced the roll-out of its new-generation Endeavour.
The price points of these SUVs are totally different. Mahindra Getaway comes in two variants of 4x4 wheel drive and 4x2 wheel drive, which is tagged at Rs 8 lakh (ex-Navi Mumbai) and Rs 6.99 lakh (ex-Navi Mumbai), respectively.
Mahindra's executive vice-president, sales & marketing, Rajesh Jejurikar, said, "The pick-up segment or the lifestyle SUV segment is practically non-existent in India. We plan to lead the segment with our product and create a market for the same."
The company is already exporting its Scorpio pick-ups to countries like South Africa and Australia. Positioning its next-generation Endeavour in another niche SUV segment, Ford India launched it in three versions. The company has priced its 4x4 wheel drive at Rs 15.62 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the 4x2 wheel drive at Rs 14.72 (ex-showroom Delhi) and its limited edition 4x2 wheel drive at Rs 15.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Ford India president & managing director Arvind Mathew said, "Even though the premium SUV segment has been stagnant for some time, we expect to grow by about 15-16%." Both auto makers said even though the auto industry is seeing some slump in demand due to interest rates hike, they have not revised their sales target for the year.
Mr Jejurikar said that M&M is confident that its utility vehicle business will continue to grow in double digits. Mr Mathew said though increasing interest rates could soften demand for vehicles, the company has not revised its sales target. "We are keeping a tab as to how the sales pan out in June and July," he added.
Ford to launch diesel variant of Fusion by FY08 Q3: Ford India on Wednesday said it will launch diesel variant of its mid-size vehicle Ford Fusion by the third quarter of this fiscal. "The diesel variant, to be launched by the third quarter of this year, will enable us to have a robust diesel portfolio," Ford India president and managing director Arvind Mathew told reporters here.
Mr Mathew also said that increasing interest rates could soften demand for vehicles, which may lead it to revise its yearly sales target. He said in April and May, there was softening of demand due to a variety of factors.