Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today showcased its ambitious XUV Aero Coupe at the ongoing Delhi Auto Expo 2016.
Executive Director of M&M, Pawan Goenka, speaking from the show’s sidelines, says that the company will decide when to produce the car in coming three months and will keep the pricing within Rs 20 lakh range.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18’s Ronojoy Banerjee, Goenka says that the company is looking at something doable like XUV Aero Coupe – a combination of fastback car, crossover and a coupe. The company will decide whether to productionise the car or not depending on feedbacks at the expo.
The company needs to ensure good demand and price points before launching the model, he says adding that the car will be the most expensive product from Mahindra.
Goenka expects 2016 to be a good year for the company. Sale momentum in January and positive response for KUV100 will aid the growth momentum, he adds.
Below is the verbatim transcript of Pawan Goenka's interview with Ronojoy Banerjee on CNBC-TV18.
Q: Can you tell us more about this car?
A: This is the first time that Mahindra has done a true show car, something that we have been thinking about for quite some time and we decided that now the time is right for the show car.
When you look at the show car, we say that one thing is to put a concept vehicle which is all sort of thing looking at future, which can never come into real life. Other thing is to look at something quite doable. When we look at quite doable, we said nothing better than to start with XUV 500 and what do we do to XUV 500. We said that the Indian consumers are probably looking what we don’t have in India today is a fastback car with a crossover especially.
So we have a crossover coupe fastback combination, which is quite unique and our designers came up with an idea of doing this. We said whether we do it two-door or four-door -- Indian public wants four-door but coupe is a two-door, so we said okay, let us do two-door on one side and one-door on the other side and then gauge the reaction. We are quite happy with the way the whole design has come out. We have a packaged a 210 horsepower engine in this, which is taking m-hoc engine to the next level. So that is quite doable.
We have not yet decided to productionise it. We will gauge the reaction to this from the Auto Expo today. If we find a lot of good reaction -- in fact one person has already booked a car -- then we would certainly look at productionising it.
Q: Give us an idea, clearly you would have something in your plan, in terms of -- if there is a good response, which clearly the car indicates that it should, when do we see Mahindra taking a call with launching it?
A: We will take the call in the next three months. Once we take the call, it is a long haul to produce something like this. I would say that the minimum time that one would take to develop something like this from where we are today is about 2.5 years but that doesn’t mean that it will happen because at first we have to decide that there will be enough demand for a car like this in India because this will not come at a price point that we have today for XUV 500 and selling 10-15-20 cars a month does not justify. If we are able to judge that, we will get a good demand for it at the right price point then we will productionise it.
Q: As and when this product is launched, it will clearly be the most expensive product from Mahindra's stable, right?
Q: What is the sort of a pricing that Mahindra is comfortable with especially with the product like this?
A: If you want to generate some kind of a mass interest in a product like this given that we are about Rs 16 lakh price points right now with XUV 500 that we have, probably pushing it to about Rs 20 lakh is what will generate demand. Anything beyond Rs 20 lakh will become too niche a segment and perhaps not justified.
(Copy edited by Rishma Kapur, interview transcribed by Sonal Jadhav)