When you think of Mahindra SUVs, the first image that flashes through your mind is the Scorpio. Or, for some, the Thar. Yet, the one Mahindra SUV that has quietly kept the Mahindra flag flying across the furthest corners of India is the Bolero.
The Bolero was the first Mahindra SUV that began the process of change from a utilitarian brand to a premium carmaker. It launched with an in-your-face advertising campaign that brought alive the rugged DNA of Mahindra with the creature comforts of a car. The ad declared — ‘The bumps we removed. The goosebumps, however, are firmly in place’. It was not just the utility vehicle segment that now had competition, but the passenger car segment too. The Bolero had repositioned the car!
The Bolero has evolved over the years, incorporating a number of features and aesthetic changes, to match the lifestyle aspirations of its consumers. But the set of values that shaped the Bolero stay infallible and intact to the present day. It is these that have powered the Bolero to its present position as the No. 1 selling SUV of India, with over 8,30,000 vehicles on the road.
It’s not difficult to see why. It is rugged with a go-anywhere ability. It is spacious and comfortable. Plus it’s low maintenance with a great aftersales network. The current Bolero is powered by an advanced m2DiCR engine that gives an excellent balance of economy and power. Plus, the Micro Hybrid technology available in the BS4 ZLX version gives you automatic fuel savings. The feature-rich interiors come with seven seats, so you can take your extended family along. The commanding driving position, tough build and suspension mean that bad roads, potholes, or even no roads are no excuse for not continuing the journey. The Bolero also features an exhaustive Driver Information System with an advanced digital display that gives the driver all the parameters of the drive, in style
Plus, if you want more style, Mahindra will create a customised Bolero Stinger for you! Perhaps the most alluring feature of the Bolero is its ability to weather any climatic, geographic or road conditions you throw at it. Whether it is the border states of North East, or the dusty plains of Central India to the tropical plantations in the South or the extreme weather of North India, the Bolero charges on, undaunted and undefeated. No wonder then, that second-hand Boleros command a premium in the resale market.
The fact that the Bolero is India’s No. 1 SUV is not a marketing hype. It is the numbers that speak for themselves. Consider these facts from the record books:
The Bolero is the largest-selling SUV nine years in a row.
The Bolero is the fifth-highest selling passenger vehicle in India in 2015.
The Bolero sold over 1,00,000 vehicles every year, for the past four years.
The Bolero is an interesting case study of how good engineering and marketing work together to identify a consumer need, and then work honestly to give the consumer what he demands. It is the Bolero that set the stage for other SUVs to follow. Many have, but still, the Mahindra Bolero continues to rule.
Extracts from October 2010 issue of Autocar India
Overall, the Bolero’s rugged performance, utilitarian character and sporty exteriors helped it
... what worked in Bolero’s favour was good ride quality over tough road conditions. This was because the vehicle’s independent front suspension, developed by experts roped in from a specialist design group based in France, worked wonders.
At Rs 4.98 lakh, the company’s strategy was to offer the customer a fully loaded vehicle, high on image perception and at an attractive price.