Some of the slow-moving products of sports utility vehicle specialist Mahindra & Mahindra will get phased out over the next 18-24 months as the company begins to prepare for stricter emission regulations which will come into effect beginning April 1, 2020.
While the company did not elaborate on which models will likely face the axe, offerings like Verito, Vibe, Xylo and Nuvosport may be discontinued. Like M&M many companies, including Tata Motors, are reluctant to upgrade older generation models that are not churning significant volumes to meet Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) standard as well as crash safety norms.
Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra, said: “We have to meet BS-VI in all of our products. We have already made a decision on dropping some products when we go to BS-VI, (which are) low volume products. And we have to invest in all the safety regulations that are coming in and therefore there is no letting up of investment in those areas.”
M&M is also entering new segments with new products, two of which will be launched in the next financial year. These include a people carrier, multi-utility vehicle (codename U321) that will take on the Toyota Innova Crysta, followed by a compact sports utility vehicle (Codename S201) positioned below the Scorpio.
M&M will launch a brand new 2-litre engine which promises to be lighter, more fuel efficient and more refined in terms of noise than the current engine. This new engine will meet BS-VI emission norms which will be rolled out on April 1, 2020 across India.
Goenka added that most of its products already meet the crash safety norms that is in place since October 1, 2017 (for new vehicles). With the exception of the Bolero, one of its top-selling utility vehicles, all of its products have airbags and ABS as an option. The government has made it mandatory for all vehicle makers to install airbags and ABS in all passenger vehicles from July 1, 2019. The earlier deadline was October 1, 2019.“On the crash safety norms, the only product which does not have airbags and ABS in any of the variants is Bolero, and we are working on that right now. That is the only one we will have to upgrade to meet the new crash and safety norms which now comes in July 2019 rather than October 2019 and as of now we do not see any issue in that,” added Goenka.