Next-gen Mahindra Bolero planned for 2026

    New Bolero's platform will also underpin other Mahindra SUVs and pickup trucks.

    Published On Dec 06, 2023 07:30:00 AM

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    Despite a commitment of over Rs 10,000 crore for its electric vehicle business, Mahindra & Mahindra has not lost sight of its bread-and-butter models and has big plans to reinforce its internal combustion engine portfolio as well for the coming decade. A detailed investment plan and product portfolio is likely to revealed in the coming year.

    M&M, which reignited the brand with the Thar, XUV and Scorpio nameplates over the last few years, is readying to introduce a new generation of its old warhorse, the Bolero, with a next-generation architecture called U171. The platform could call for an investment in excess of Rs 2,000 crore in the coming decade.

    1. New Bolero likely to launch in 2026-2027
    2. SUVs and pickups to be based on new U171 ICE platform 
    3. Mahindra has over 60 percent share in the pickup truck segment 

    The new U171 internal combustion engine platform is likely to spawn over half a dozen different top hats, including SUVs and pickup trucks, in the future. There are likely to be at least three SUVs on the platform, which could bring Mahindra an annual volume of about 1.5 lakh units. Once the pickup range also transitions to this platform, the volume potential could eventually double. The first model on the platform is likely to be on the roads in 2026-2027.

    One of several people in the know said, “This is a core platform that will help Mahindra protect its loyal customer base in the hinterlands and commercial vehicle buyers. That platform has always been very profitable and has silently delivered more volumes than planned. While the XUVs, Thar and Scorpio have caught the fancy of urban buyers, the new Bolero aims to raise the bar and re-ignite its position in smaller towns and cities.”

    Prior to the success of XUV700, Thar and Scorpio N, if there was one model franchise that kept profits healthy, it was the Bolero. The brand, which has been on the radar of being axed in its storied history of over two decades, continues to enjoy strong loyalty, especially in the Central and North belt of India. The brand is like wine for Mahindra, the more it aged, the better it got with time.

    The Bolero family of SUVs continues to do an average of 8,000 to 9,000 units a month and account for 20 percent of the company's total sales; the profit share is likely to be much higher than the volumes. The pickup truck on the Bolero platform also brings in significant volume and has been Mahindra's lynchpin to gain a dominant share of over 60 percent in the pickup truck space.

    An email sent to the company is yet to elicit any response on the official queries regarding the all-new Bolero. To be sure, Rajesh Jejurikar, ED and CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra, had told analysts that in the next cycle of investment – which is likely to be announced in the next three to six months – the company will share the internal combustion engine plan.

    “We want to really assure you that we are doing enough on the internal combustion engine to make sure our products remain robust, refreshes are done periodically and there are completely new updates being planned. There are things in the pipeline, there is adequate and more than adequate focus on the ICE vehicles for the future,” said Jejurikar.

    He explained that even if EVs were make up for 30 percent of the market in the next three-five years, there will still be a very large percentage, that is 70 percent, which will be in the internal combustion engine space.

    “So clearly for us that is as important, we have to fortify our position of strength. Hence, a lot of the manufacturing capacities are going to be fungible; we will be able to use it in Chakan, while there may be specific investment like the body shop, but we are creating fungibility with EV to some extent,” added Jejurikar to the analysts in November.

    Apart from the all-new Bolero, the company will be introducing the XUV300 facelift in the first quarter of 2024, followed by the five-door Thar in the second half of 2024. Nearly 99 percent of Mahindra's 2,86,000 bookings are for ICE models led by the XUV700, Scorpio N, Scorpio Classic and Thar.

    Also see:

    Mahindra XUV.e9 interior revealed in spy shot

    Next-gen Mahindra Scorpio pickup spied testing in India

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