Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra today launched a mini passenger carrier, Maxximo Mini Van VX, priced between Rs 3.7 lakh and Rs 3.8 lakh.
The eight-seater vehicle, powered by two-cylinder 909 cc diesel engine is available in both BSIII and BSIV compliant options and will be directly pitched against Maruti Suzuki India's Omni Van.
"We are first launching the vehicle in Gujarat, which is the biggest market for mini vans. This will be followed by Rajasthan and then we will gradually roll out the vehicle across the country," Mahindra & Mahindra Senior Vice President, Sales & Customer Care (Automotive Division) Arun Malhotra told PTI.
He said the new vehicle with a hard top is a further extension of the range of vehicles on the Maxximo platform.
Maxximo already has a semi-hard top variant targeted at the stage carrier market. The newly launched hard top sliding door variant, the Maxximo Mini Van VX, would cater to the low-end contract carriers, he said.
Malhotra said the BSIII compliant version of the new mini van will cost Rs 3.7 lakh, while the BSIV version would be tagged at Rs 3.8 lakh.
The company also has Maxximo mini-truck plying on the Indian roads, which is focussed on the last mile transportation segment.
"Mini vans are increasingly emerging as the choice of both the entry-level contract carriage and the stage carriage segment. This is a segment which has been dominated by Maruti's Omni. We want to have a significant presence here," Malhotra said.
While he did not share any targets, Malhotra said the mini-van market in India was around 20,000 vehicles per month, growing at 10 per cent.
Of the total, the hard top segment, which is mainly dominated by Maruti Suzuki's Omni and Eeco, is about 12,000 units and the rest is accounted for by semi-hard-top vehicles such as Tata Magic and Tata Magic Iris, he added.
"We have not set any specific sales target for the Maxximo Mini Van. The idea is to first introduce it to customers across the country and we will ramp up production at the Chakan plant as per demand," Malhotra said.