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Utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) today said it is working on a slew of measures, including readying a family of petrol engines catering to its entire product range by April 2020, when BS VI emission norms kick in the country.
The Mumbai-based company, which today launched an updated version of its compact SUV KUV100 priced at Rs 4.39-7.33 lakh, also plans to roll out electric versions of its crossover models.
"We are working on a very strong petrol engine line-up and by the time BS VI emission norms roll out, our petrol engine offering will be as strong as diesel," M&M Managing Director Pawan Goenka told reporters here.
The company will have petrol engines that can cover all its models, he added.
"Whether all of those get launched in India or not depends on the customer pull. Most likely, all our exports will definitely have petrol-powered vehicles. We would be happy to launch in the domestic market even if we have 5 per cent demand," Goenka said.
On introducing electric vehicles, he added that even with less clarity as to how the electric vehicle segment will perform in coming days, Mahindra would roll out its existing products with electric powertrains.
"Whether we have 20 per cent electric vehicles by 2030 or 100 per cent is perhaps a multi billion dollar question. Mahindra is hedging its bet... and decided that for all crossover SUVs, we will be working on electric version in future," Goenka said.
As part of the plan, the company will introduce an electric KUV100 in over a year from now, he added.
On various other disruptions unfolding in the automotive segment, Goenka said the company is learning about driverless technology from its tractor business.
"We hope the learning we have from there someday would allow us to replicate in the automotive business," he noted.
The company is going to perfect the driverless technology in tractor first and sometime in future, it could be applied in automotive. We will be launching first phase of driverless technology before the end of this financial year," Goenka said.
On challenges from shared mobility, he added that the winners among the manufacturers will be those "which will have objects of desire".
"And that is what we have been trying to do in all our products," Goenka said.
Terming the current phase as one of the toughest for the Indian automotive sector, Goenka made the point that lack of clarity on various issues is forcing manufacturers to work on multiple directions.
"We are planning for multiple scenarios and not sure on where major thrust of investment should go. So, if you look at hybrid technology -- if it's dead or will it come back that is also not clear," he noted.
There is also no clarity on how would the electric segment would pan out in future, he pointed out.
"So, I am saying you need to plan for everything," Goenka remarked.
On the new KUV100 launch, Goenka said it is the first time that the company has launched a refreshed version of a model in just 21 months after it was introduced in the country.
The petrol variants of the refreshed version have been launched at an introductory price range starting at Rs 4.39 lakh going up to Rs 6.04 lakh. The diesel trims are tagged between Rs 5.39 lakh and Rs 7.33 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai).
The updated version comes with 40 new features and enhancements.
"Given that the growth in the UV segment has been primarily driven by the compact SUVs, I am confident that the KUV100 NXT will resonate well with its buyers," M&M President Automotive Sector Rajan Wadhera said.