A war is upon us. A war of two international automotive giants competing for supremacy in the compact SUV segment. Ford is readying the EcoSport for India and Renault is pumping up the Duster. Both very competent products, both ready to fire their engines to woo the Indian consumer.
Brilliant designs, oodles of street presence and extremely fuel efficient engines. What could the Indian consumer ask for? However, price will determine their fate. If both companies do not manage a sub 10 lakhs pricing, a death knell will ring on the compact SUV segment before it even took off!
However, Mahindra has been busy testing the mini Xylo since mid-2010. For our new audience – Mahindra Mini Xylo is a shortened version of the existing Xylo with the third row seat replaced with two jump seats for kids.
The Mahindra mini Xylo is a very versatile product. It can compete against the so-to-be-launched Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in the mini MPV space. At the same time, it inherits the Mahindra SUV DNA which means it can also compete against compact SUVs like the EcoSport and Duster.
Mahindra can play the pricing card to absorb the whole demand of the Mini MPV and Compact SUV. Firstly, the Mini Xylo is a sub-4 meter vehicle which means its enjoys considerable tax benefits from the government. Secondly, it will be cheaper than the existing Xylo which means the Mini Xylo ‘HAS TO BE’ priced below 7 lakhs.
Now, one can argue that the EcoSport and Duster would be far more refined and polished products that the Mini Xylo. They will have more features and tech loaded in them than Mini Xylo. They may be more reliable and have a higher status.
The last time Mahindra took so much time to test a vehicle, they came out with the XUV500 which is indeed a global SUV all set to invade the European markets.
If Mahindra manages to endow the Mini Xylo with good features and refinement levels, it will spell doom for the compact SUVs. So is the Mahindra Mini Xylo really the underdog over here?
[Spyshots source: MotorVikatan Facebook page]