Mahindra XUV500’s ground clearance lowered; Now costs INR 33,000 less

Posted on: Jul 8, 2013 - 9:01am IST

The Union Budget 2013 was not liked by all, especially UV makers like Mahindra. The excise duty for vehicles measuring over 4 meters in length with an engine capacity of 1,500cc or more and with ground clearance of 170mm or higher, was increased from 27% to 30%. We told you that Mahindra was working to avoid this additional excise duty by modifying their cars (it was even reported that Mahindra would install a ‘stone guard’ to claim a lowered ground clearance).

Mahindra XUV500 Hero Silver

The Mahindra XUV500 has just got its ground clearance lowered and thus gets a price cut as well. The XUV500 which had a 200mm ground clearance, will now have a 160mm ground clearance, Economic Times reports.

That’s a whopping 40mm of lost ground clearance, especially for an SUV. As a result, Mahindra has fitted a ‘stone guard’ which will protect the engine underside in uneven roads.

Mr. Pawan Goenka, president, automotive and farm equipment sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, expressed his unhappiness about this, but said that he had to do it as the higher price due to the increased duty was taking a hit on their potential customers.

Mahindra XUV500
It will be interesting to see (visually) how much lower the XUV500 is.

As a result, the XUV will no longer attract the additional 3% excise duty. Prices of the lower end W6 model has gone down by INR 27,000 while the top-end W8 sees a price cut of INR 33,000. The XUVs with this lower ground clearance have already been dispatched to dealers and sales are expected to commence by this week. Mahindra expects to see an improvement in XUV sales by 10-15%.

Mr. Pawan Goenka also said –

The reduced ground clearance of the XUV does in no way affect the ride and handling of the vehicle. On the contrary, it has become more robust. We are evaluating whether the changed parameters can be applied to other vehicles. We are looking at the feasibility of a smaller power train for the Bolero, but that would take a minimum of 18 months to develop. The Scorpio is a power and performance-driven vehicle, and there is no way that we will look at a lower power train for it. We may consider a lower ground clearance for the Scorpio as well.

[Source – Economic Times]

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12 thoughts on “Mahindra XUV500’s ground clearance lowered; Now costs INR 33,000 less

  1. Ayyappan says:

    Sensing something fishy about the Auto car report. Maybe it is a cover up act sensing the negativity around the action.

    If the Government had a different way of measuring Ground clearance of vehicles, then the XUV wouldn’t be classified as an SUV in the first place. As per the Indian system of measurement, the XUV’s clearance comes up to only to 170mm ! Mahindra wouldn’t charged the additional 3% tax since it is falling under the norms. Then why all this noise about reducing GC and reduction of prices?

    Reading through Goenka’s statements, he’s definitely hinting at physical reduction and not just referring to measurement yardsticks. >>> ” The price of the XUV500 will go down by between Rs 27,000 and Rs 33,000 as we produce the vehicle with the new specifications. I am not happy about doing this, but we had to do it as the higher price due to the increased duty was hitting our potential customers ” Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra & Mahindra

  2. Atul says:

    Actually it’s not, according to ACI :

    So just what did Mahindra have to do to lower the XUV and meet the new clearance regulation? Absolutely nothing.

    In a move that highlights how flawed the government regulation really is, all the company had to do was use the Indian system of measuring ground clearance – which simply measures from the lowest point on the car to the ground. Mahindra had previously used the European ‘Arc’ method of measurement, which typically gives the higher value, which in turn looks good on the spec sheet of a tough SUV.

    By simply using the Indian system of measurement, the XUV’s clearance was automatically re-rated to 170mm, but then Mahindra went a step further and added a stone guard to the underbody, purportedly to protect the engine. This lowered the car’s lowest point by a further 10mm, safely clear of the cut-off.


    1. Atul’s comment makes sense. XUV500 wheel dia is 17 inch, which means radius of about 215mm. Unless they reduce the wheel size, 160mm is touch to achieve. Must be just using a different perspective to get additional advantage.

      Now we’ll have 2 parameters: Govt GC and Actual GC (or something like that)

    2. sandy says:

      Atul, I think you’re right. After seeing your comments, I crawled down to my Maruti Zen(old) with measuring tape to find out the ground clearence. The spec says 165mm as minimum gc and I found the same with the lowest part of engine i.e. the exhaust pipe coming out under engine bay measures 165mm from the ground, and not the actual running part of the chassis joining front to rear wheel arch, which measured 180mm from ground.
      So in that sense, XUV’s 160mm gc due to stone guard may not cause major problem. It could acts twine purpose; protect the engine and freeout 3% duty.
      Am I right!?

  3. Ayyappan says:

    Horrible step ! The answer lies here –

    “Monthly sales of the XUV 5OO nearly halved to 2,000 units from March and I will be happy if the price revision leads to a 15-20 per cent increase in numbers,” said Pawan Goenka, M&M’s President.

    It’s quite evident that Mahindra is desperate for sales numbers here, which I fear will only press the panic button all over.

    Quanto is down to 800+ last month, barely after a year of release and they might be forced to take drastic steps in the near future to keep it floating. Absolutely no future considering the presence of Duster, Ecosport, Terrano and the others.

    Xylo is clocking just around1000+ units like the Tavera and both stands the risk of getting killed by Enjoy, which is priced so very aggressively. The Enjot is already clocking 2500 per month even with suspended production and is clearly on the way to become the 3rd mass MPV hit after Innova and Ertiga.

    The XUV is down to 1300+ in June from the 5000 when they started out a year back and faces serious risks from Duster, Terrano and Storme. Even the Rexton is down to 100+ from the high 500+ soon after the launch.

    A common factor amongst all the above cars would be poor engineering, quality and reliability.

    And the recent launches e2O and Verito Vibe are already forgotten stories.

    My humble suggestion -Kill the Quanto, Verito and Vibe. Rework XUV and Xylo extensively and make it completely issue free, even if it takes a year or two. Do not launch SsangYong products at all in India unless you’re 101% sure about its quality. Target e2O for only export markets. Re launch Thar with more practical feaures. Scorpio badly needs a major refresh. Bolero is doing fine but can be made more contemporary even for the village market. Package the S101 well, make it a proper 5 seater with good boot and don’t go the Ecosport way.

  4. sandy says:

    Ford Figo gets a lot of complain for 168mm ground clearence as it hits the speed breakers or pot holed road, so does Polo. Thats why Fiat increased their’s to 185-195mm even if its a car.
    Now looking at the above cases, how can M&M could think of 160mm gc for XUV5OO? Why they are feeling so insecure that are ready to bargain themselves? Their mini SUV is doing testing rounds, they could have maintained their patience.
    Now 200mm gc was one of the selling point for most prospective XUV buyers; if that is gone, i wonder who would be the takers.

  5. Chanakya says:

    Have they lost their mind!!!!! What is the purpose of having an SUV/Quasi SUV is it has less ground clearance than a sedan!!! You change the very purpose of the car just to reduce 30k? They should have come up with lower variants instead. This is utter nonsense and the guys at Mahindra must be smoking big time

  6. Why not 169mm (since 170mm is the limit)

    May be M&M could have tried this low ground clearance on some variants for some time, assess market response and customer feedback, before enforcing it across the range

  7. Deepak Chablani says:

    Hope this report is not right. And if its right, then Mahindra is losing the plot big time.

    Is this the cheaper XUV Mahindra was talking about ? Stupid ! A price reduction of 26 to 33,000 would make no changes to its sales.

    SUV with a ground clearance of 160mm -Ridiculous ! It was anyways a soft roader / crossover like the Aria and the high ground clearance was probably a positive. Now, some of the hatchbacks are better equipped to be called SUV’s now, isn’t ?

    What Mahindra should have done was to eradicate all the issues with the car. Mahindra had a reputation of getting their cars right only after couple of years post release in the market. Now with the XUV, we all expected the quality to be much better but sadly, its the same old Mahindra story. Reliability is a big element for the knowledgeable customer and you’ve to get it right the first time. The customers should be put at risk simply because he’s a new release. The story of Toyota, Honda, Nissan and even Hyundai making inroads into the US market sidelining the US grown brands like GM, Ford etc was precisely due to the quality/ reliability factor.

    Read an article about how Mahindra decided to do lot of research inhouse for XUV as opposed to the earlier practice of outsourcing those, which led to a whole lot of issues. But Goenka was honest enough to admit the failures and even maintained that they’re a young company and are learning from their mistakes.

    But I was wrong in expecting big steps from them. They have resorted to a quick fix stupid steps to improve sales. With the XUV sales going nowhere and the recent launches (Quanto, e2O, Verito Vibe) biting the dust, I think Mahindra needs big drastic steps. They’ve the money, pump in more into R&D and probably in the next 10-15 years, Mahindra can go truly global.

    1. Deepak Chablani says:

      “The customers should be put at risk simply because he’s a new release.” -Correction-Sorry for that.

      Meant to say “The customers should NOT be put at risk simply because it’s a new release”

  8. Arpit says:

    Very disappointing move… the sales will drop further because even EcoSport has 200 mm ground clearance. 160 is too low for such a big SUV.


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Anjan Ravi

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