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M&M seeks to beat industry growth with new products

Firm plans to launch smaller Verito by 2012-end, compact SUV 'very soon'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra plans to launch the smaller version of its sedan Verito by the end of 2012 as it looks to beat industry growth this fiscal and build on good sales witnessed so far this year.

The firm that went past rival Tata Motors in passenger vehicle sales in May said it is confident of growing more than the industry this fiscal with new products, including a compact SUV, slated to hit the market soon.

"In the next couple of months, we will have our compact SUV and by the end of the year, we will launch the sub-four metre Verito. These new products will enable our sales to grow further this fiscal," Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah told PTI.

The sub-four metre Verito will qualify for excise duty benefits on small cars which stands at 12 per cent for those with engine capacity of less than 1,200 cc for petrol and 1,500 cc for diesel and length less than four metres. The existing Verito does not meet these criteria.


The smaller Verito will be in the same segment as Maruti Suzuki India's DZiRE and Tata Motors' Indigo CS.

Shah said in the first two months of this fiscal, the company's sales have grown more than the industry rate.
   
In the April-May period this fiscal, the company sold a total of 79,237 units as against 62,508 units in same period last fiscal, up 26.84 per cent.
   
Asked about the company's sales prospects for the fiscal, Shah said: "SIAM had predicted a growth of 10-12 per cent for the industry but considering how the market has been, I think this may be revised."
   
As for M&M, he said: "We are confident that we will be above the industry growth."
   
M&M's passenger vehicles (PV) sales were also higher than rival Tata Motors in May. As per data released by the firms, M&M's PV sales in May this year stood at 21,154 units while that of Tata Motors were at 20,503 units.
   
Explaining how the company has been able to post good growth while others are struggling, he said: "Our products are operating in specific segments and we are finding good traction there."
   
It is not only the higher demand for diesel vehicles due to price difference in diesel and petrol fuels that is driving growth for M&M vehicles, he added.
   
He said penetration of the utility vehicles segment, which the company is strong in, is very low at 15 per cent in India compared to about 45-50 per cent in the US, Europe or South East Asia.
   
"So there is a lot of potential for us to grow," he said.
   
The auto industry has been going through a slump and in May sales moderated with Maruti Suzuki, General Motors and Ford reporting decline in sales due to post-Budget price hikes, high interest rates and rising fuel prices.
   
Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, however, saw sales going up during the month.

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First Published: Sun, June 03 2012. 11:50 IST
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