An increasing preference for clutch-less comfort among customers of Mahindra’s TUV300 SUV has resulted in a high number of buyers queuing up for the AMT variant.
Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra said that 40-50 percent of the total orders received for the TUV300 are for the AMT variant; a clear indicator that the convenient, but relatively expensive, variant of the SUV is a bigger draw than its competitive price.
“We didn’t anticipate such high demand for AMT. In fact one of the reasons why there is a gap between demand and supply is because our AMT production capacity is limited,” Goenka said.
The carmaker launched the TUV300 at a starting price of Rs 6.90 lakh (ex, showroom Pune), nearly Rs 1 lakh cheaper than closest rival Ford Ecosport. The TUV 300 AMT is available in two variants, T6+ and T8+ priced at Rs 8.52 lakh and 9.12 lakh respectively.
The vehicle is the first compact SUV in its class to offer an AMT gearbox in India. Mahindra has developed the new gearbox with the help of in-house engineers along with the inputs from Ricardo, Europe. Surprisingly, it appears that the carmaker has found itself a niche while offering something unique in its class.
The carmaker has received 12,000 bookings for the compact SUV since its launch on September 10, 2015, Goenka said adding that they have reached a production rate of 5,000 units a month and plan to maintain the same. Mahindra would consider ramping up the production in the future if required after it starts exporting the vehicle.
Powering the TUV300 is Mahindra’s updated mHawk engine called the mHawk80. The engine, which is only offered in a diesel guise, displaces 1,493 cc – just under 1,500cc – and qualifies the TUV300 as a small car. Using a twin scroll turbo charger, the mHawk80 engine churns out 82.85bhp and 23.45kgm of torque.
Mahindra posted a year-on-year growth (19 percent) in passenger vehicle sales (24,060 units) in October after several months of a decline on the back of upbeat response for the TUV300, which sold 4,551 units. While Goenka expects the growth to continue in November as well, he said sales are likely to stabilize post festive season.