Mumbai: A week after warning that increasing competition could erode its dominance in the SUV space, auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Wednesday entered the fiercely contested hatchback segment with a compact version of its sedan Verito -- Vibe.
The new offering comes from the home-grown car maker's Renault platform.
The price of the 1.5 litre Vibe varies from Rs 5.63 lakh to Rs 6.49 lakh, ex-showroom Mumbai.
The car is available in three models, all diesel, but the company is not averse to launch petrol and electric versions too, M&M President (Automotive Division) Pawan Goenka said while launching the car here.
Vibe is pitched against established brands such as Maruti's DZire & Swift, Honda's Amaze and Toyota's Liva. The car, powered by the Renault engine, comes under the sub-4 metre category and claims a mileage of 20.8 kmpl.
"The Vibe gives us the opportunity to play in the large and highly competitive compact car segment," Pravin Shah, M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) said.
Though Mahindra builds every other SUV sold in the country, its share in the segment fell to 48 percent in FY13 from 56 percent in FY12, according to industry body Siam. In the car market, it had a share of just about 1 percent.
Goenka said he is confident the Vibe will create an impact in the compact car segment and find favour with the evolving customers.
Goenka said the company is currently rolling out 2,500- 3,000 units of Verito a month but if the demand picks up, capacity can be augmented to 4,500 pieces.
Asked whether this will not cannibalise M&M's other models like Quanto and Verito, Goenka he doesn't mind that as the objective is to grab the volume share.
He said the Vibe is cheaper than Maruti DZire (by Rs 40,000 and the Etios (by Rs 97,000).
On investment, he said the company spent around Rs 60 crore on the product and rulled out launching a new passenger car.
However, he said the company will launch a new car from the Verito platform next year.
The compact car market is a million units a year.
On the engine collaboration with Renault, he said the arrangement with the French auto firm will continue for the next two years.
First Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 12:59