With plans to de-risk its diesel centric business model, utility major Mahindra & Mahindra has started work on developing a 1-litre engine which would be its smallest till date. The proposed small engine would have petrol and diesel option and could see hitting the markets by 2014. However, the company is not quite calling it a small car, reports CNBC-TV18's Ronojoy Banerjee quoting sources.
For sure it is not going to be a small car but unlikely to be a full blown sport utility vehicle (SUV) owing to the smallest of the engine.
The indication from senior company executives is that it could be a crossover vehicle somewhere between a hatch and an SUV. The company is keeping details of the new product under very close wraps and has sparingly shared with only a select list of vendors.
Company executives say that the company had to fastrack this project owing to the overall anti-diesel environment. In fact as part of the strategy along with the SsangYong the South Korean SUV company that Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) acquired abut two years ago, it is going to work on eight engines. Out of the total, four will be petrol, the rest is likely to diesel that would range anywhere from 1 to 2 litres.
In fact about a fortnight ago president of the company Pawan Goenka also mentioned that as a company it had taken cognizance of the anti-diesel and it was ready with alternate products. Whatever M&M calls it will compete with Ford’s EcoSport which is also going to be launched by end of 2013. So, it will be an interesting clash between two big companies.