At the launch of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport in Delhi today, Mitsubishi spoke about the future of the Pajero SFX, the introduction of the new Outlander shown at the Geneva Motor Show and revealed the CKD plan for the Pajero Sport. Indian Autos Blog's Gaurav Malik gives us the details.
- How many units are you planning to sell of the same this year?
Approx. 4,000-5,000 units.
- Which part of the country are you targeting this product at?
Existing Pajero sells almost all around the country. The Pajero enthusiast is who we are targeting, and our marketing will be throughout the country.
- Are you planning to do a CKD of this SUV at Chennai plant?
Yes we are planning to assemble this car locally along with sourcing some components locally but those operations will start only in September. The plant is preparing for the same.
- How much is the capacity of the plant and how much of it are you utilizing it right now?
The Chennai plant's capacity is about 12,000 units per annum, of course it can be increased by using multiple shifts, which is what we are not doing at present. Right now we are utilizing 40-50% of the capacity producing 5,000-6,000 units per annum.
- How much investment will this plant upgrade require?
The investment is still going on, but roughly about 40-50 crores.
- Are you looking to partner with other companies to utilize that unused capacity?
Many companies have approached us from time to time and we will continue the talk. As of present, there is no firm proposal to make any particular brand. but in future, if any such opportunities arrive, we will certainly accept it.
- When the CKD operations begin, will they bring down the cost of the car or are you already subsidizing the price now?
We have to work out the details of the cost reduction, but one thing I can assure you, it will definitely bring down the prices which will be passed on to the consumer as well.
- Considering other companies are launching their products quickly, can we expect any new products soon from Mitsubishi?
We introduced the new Outlander at the Geneva Motor Show, which will make its way first to Russia, then to the domestic market i.e. Japan and then we will introduce it to the Indian market. And about eh pace, I think slow and steady wins the race.
- You have many products in the SUV segment, are you looking at other segments as well?
We know that the largest segment in the Indian automotive market is the hatchback and the sedan, and we want to place some of our products in there but we are saving it for the future. The hatchback segment is already crowded and in order to win there, we need to price our car very competitively. So we are doing our market research, and as of now, there are no crude plans but we will consider it in the future.
- When you mentioned you have a bigger plan for India, what kind of investment can we see you making in the car market in India? Will you be making the investment in partnership with Hindustan Motors or will you do that individually?
The plans for bringing in new cars and entering new segments are all under consideration but since our research is going on, we can't say anything specific. If some products are launched, we will do that jointly with HM.
- What happens to existing Pajero SFX model?
The new model will take over the existing model when it is discontinued after 4-5 months.