In 2015, Eicher Motors, in partnership with US-based Polaris Industries, launched a utility vehicle for the Indian market called the Multix. Now, less than three years later, poor sales have prompted the six-year-old JV to be called off and for sales of the Multix to be discontinued with immediate effect.
A statement issued by Eicher Polaris Private Limited (EPPL) explains how the Multix initially generated interest, but failed to make any significant inroads into the rural UV market, and led to EPPL incurring a net loss of Rs. 91.83 crore (FY 16-17).
The statement reads, "Given its unique positioning and differentiated product features, Multix initially generated significant interest from customers. However, the initial interest could not be sustained and the subsequent sales performance was significantly slower than the company’s expectations. Despite several initiatives, the company’s performance could not be revived. Hence, the board of EPPL has concluded that in the present circumstances, it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to close the operations of the company."
However, EPPL will continue to provide spares and service support for the Multix.
The Multix could seat five people along with luggage or be adapted to provide luggage space of 1,918 litres. It employed a 511cc diesel engine developed by Greaves Cotton and was equipped with a 3KW power-take-off port called X-Port which could be used to power lights, pumps, etc.
After the market launch in 2015, EPPL had also come out with a BS-IV-compliant version in 2016. It was priced at Rs 3.43 lakh (ex-showroom, Jaipur), was available in two variants (AX+ and MX) and offered an improved fuel economy of 27kpl.
Driving experience in the Eicher Polaris Multix