After launching the Ssangyong Rexton SUV in Mumbai and Delhi last month, Mahindra has stepped up the game and launched the car in seven cities today including Chennai.
Indian Autos Blog was present at the Chennai launch and got to interact with Mr. Vivek Nayar, Chief Marketing officer, Mahindra&Mahindra Automotive sector. According to him, the success of Mahindra XUV 500 has given the company the much needed confidence to venture into the premium SUV segment with the Ssangyong Rexton.
The RX-5 variant of the Ssangyong Rexton puts out 162 bhp and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox with Torque On Demand (TOD) four wheel drive system while the RX-7 variant has 184 bhp and comes with automatic gearbox and all wheel drive system. Both the variants are powered by Daimler sourced 2.7 litre 5 cylinder diesel engine.
In fact the Rexton itself is a redesigned and improved first generation Mercedes M Class, launched in the late 90's.
Regarding the next Ssangyong vehicle lined up for India, Mr. Nayar said that the company will take a call after gauging the response to the Rexton. He did not confirm the launch of the Korando, the second Ssangyong that Mahindra were studying for a 2013 launch, to be positioned slightly above the XUV500.
He also added that there are no plans for setting up a new retain chain for the South Korean brand which will be sold across all the Mahindra personal car dealerships.
When asked about the possibility of bring a four wheel drive Quanto, Mr. Nayar said, "We take on board input, input from consumers. Right now we are very happy with the response, we are getting lot of car buyers and hatchback buyers who are now shifting to Quanto which is what we wanted. That was the strategy."
Ssangyong Rexton prices (ex-showroom Chennai)
- RX-5 - Rs. 18.08 lakhs
- RX-7 - Rs. 20.12 lakhs
Apart from Chennai, the Ssangyong Rexton was launched in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Ludhiana, Patiala and Chandigarh today.