Utility vehicle specialist Mahindra & Mahindra will bring the curtains down on at least two of its models that have failed to achieve sustainable sales levels over the years.
These models will not meet the upcoming safety and emissions norms being introduced by the government, a senior M&M official confirmed at a press meet.
From October 1 next year, all cars will have to meet crash safety norms, which means it will become mandatory for them to come equipped with airbags. Also, on April 1, 2020, India will adopt Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emissions norms.
"All the products that need to be compliant now are compliant and all the products that needs to become compliant next year will become so next year. There is only one very low volume product that will be phased out because of safety norms. There will be one or two models that will be phased out because of the BS-VI norms," said Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Goenka declined to give details of the models that would be discontinued. But the Mumbai-based company has already stopped production of the Vibe and the Nuvosport, according to data provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
The hatchback Vibe was a derivative of the Logan platform born out of a wedlock between Mahindra and French car giant Renault in 2013. The car was priced at a premium to most other hatchbacks in its segment.
The Nuvosport, a sub-four meter compact people carrier based on the existing Xylo platform, was newer entrant to the Mahindra stable. It was essentially a face-lifted version of the Quanto and its production was stopped a few months ago due to poor demand.
The Xylo, Verito and Thar are some of the other low-volume models of M&M that are at risk of getting axed over the next 15 months.
The multi-seater Xylo, which was launched to challenge the Toyota Innova, sells around 500 units a month.
The Verito (rebadged Renault Logan) is a four-door sedan but is catering largely to the commercial buyer. The remainder of the volume comes from buyers of the electric variant of the model.
Complying with BS-VI and crash safety norms will result in a significant increase in cost for vehicle manufacturers and therefore, some products may become economically hard to justify and may have to be phased out.
Thus far, Maruti Suzuki is understood to be phasing out the Omni and Alto 800, while Tata Motors is believed to be doing the same with the Nano and Bolt.
Apart from these, Honda could be axing the Brio and Hyundai could be disconituing the Eon.
Some models sold in India have failed to secure even two star rating on the NCAP (new car assessment program) crash safety tests conducted in Europe. These cars do not come with airbags for all variants.