Mahindra’s latest salvo the TUV300 at an attractive price shows that the company has moved beyond targeting the traditional SUV buyers. The word on the street now is that their upcoming micro SUV, the S101, will take the fight deeper into the traditional Indian car market. This time they may even have hatchbacks in mind!
With such attractive offerings available in the compact SUV segment, it is a known fact that sedan buyers have often shifted to an SUV for better road presence and the obvious better capability. Even Renault, the French automaker, is trying to do the same with their soon to be launched SUV-ish hatchback Kwid. A report at Autocar Professional reveals that the company might have the Maruti Suzuki WagonR in sight as the key opponent to the S101. They say that the small S101, in fact, may start at a price tag hovering around Rs 4 Lakhs!
“The distinction between what we call SUV, sedan is all getting blurred. When a customer is looking to buy a car, it is not necessarily ‘I want to buy a hatchback, I want to buy a SUV’; it is ‘I want to buy a car at this price point’. In that price point, the customer will look at what are the offerings available and they will straddle between a hatchback, a crossover SUV and sometimes even between a hatchback and a sedan, if a sedan comes at a price point of a hatchback. So, therefore it is more of a price-point game for majority of buyers.”
The compact car segment is the largest selling territory in the Indian auto market and is dominated by products from Maruti Suzuki. Mahindra may not be directly entering the fight with a small hatch simply because ‘cars’ for them have not worked, but the ploy appears to be – play in the lesser segment with butch looking products which may be marketed as SUVs/crossovers and the ultra-compact S101 might just be the first out of the many to come… The S101 is also confirmed to get a new petrol engine which is being developed with SsangYong.