Mahindra & Mahindra is confident of recouping market share in an increasingly competitive utility vehicle segment on the back of three new models – the U321 MPV, a SsangYong Tivoli-based SUV (codenamed S201) and Mahindra's version of the SsangYong Rexton.
The homegrown carmaker sees these models accounting for a 13 percent growth in overall volumes, according to Rajan Wadhera, president - automotive sector, M&M. In the 2018 fiscal, Mahindra sold 2,48,859 passenger vehicles, at an average of around 21,000 units per month.
Last year, Maruti dethroned Mahindra as the largest UV maker on the back of strong sales of the Brezza SUV. Mahindra’s UV share dropped to 25.38 percent in FY2018, from 29.20 percent in FY2017 when it was a market leader. Meanwhile, Maruti’s share grew to 27.53 percent from 25.69 percent.
Referring to the increased competition in the segment, Wadhera said that "it is obviously a very difficult game" but added that the company is positive of "fighting it out".
Moreover, Mahindra believes both the U321 and the S201 are fresh models in its portfolio and therefore hold a larger potential of attracting more customers. "For us, both the models, U321 and S201 fill up the white spaces in our line-up and there won't be any cannibalisation between them and any of our other models," Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra said at the company's FY 2017-18 financial results announcement.
Goenka sees vehicle sales in the automotive segment growing by 10 percent in the 2019 fiscal on the back of positive factors such as pick up in rural consumption and low retail inflation, even as surging input costs continue to pose a challenge. He also sees sales of electric vehicles growing rapidly and Mahindra's EV manufacturing capacity being fully utilised due to rise in demand from consumers, fleet operators and also due to its EESL contract.