At a time when most companies feel that exports in 2009 will decline, leading utility vehicles (UV) maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is targeting 20 per cent of sales from overseas markets for its new Xylo that is slated for launch on January 12, 2009.
The company is planning three more launches during the year and has lined up the launch of an all-new sports utility vehicle (SUV) platform for mid-2010. “We will launch this yet-to-be-named SUV first in India and we plan to take it to the US market later,” informed Pawan Goenka, president, automotive sector, M&M.
As for the Xylo, M&M will start exporting it to South Africa within two to three months of its launch and, subsequently, to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. “The left-hand drive version of the Xylo would come in around a year and then we plan to take it to countries like Brazil, Chile, countries of West Asia, and some of the African countries including Egypt,” Goenka said. Exports would be an important component of Xylo sales. “The Xylo, however, has not been designed for the US at all. We are mid-way into product development for a brand new SUV platform that will be launched in India in the second half of 2010 and will be eventually exported to the US,” he added.
This, then, will be M&M’s second launch in the US market, after the Scorpio, which is scheduled to enter the US markets in end of 2009. “The downturn is perhaps one of the best times to launch new products as it creates a buzz around it. The current slowdown in the global economy will not deter our launches,” Goenka claimed.
M&M has assembly plants in Egypt and Brazil in association with local partners. M&M would send completely knocked down (CKD) units to these countries, while ready vehicles would be exported to other markets.