Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. unveiled its electric sport utility vehicle XUV400 on Thursday, marking its entry into the nascent yet closely watched space.
“Our strategy is to create a market because it’s a non-existent market right now,” Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director of auto and farm sector at M&M, said.
The electric vehicle is likely to compete with Tata Motors Ltd.’s Nexon EV or the Nexon EV Max.
With penetration of electric vehicles still at lower levels, the company said it is looking to drive higher penetration instead of grabbing market share from competitors.
However, the XUV400 with a 39.5 kilowatt hour battery, giving a range of 456 km, is likely to be priced higher than the Nexon, which offers a range of 312 km with a battery of 30.2 kilowatt hour.
The Nexon EV Max, the upgraded version of the Nexon EV, comes with a range of 437 km and is powered by a battery of 40.5 kilowatt hour.
Production of the vehicle will be ramped up from next month, while deliveries will start towards the end of January, the company’s management said at the unveiling.
The price of the vehicle will also be revealed in early January, after getting feedback on the product from consumers through test drives and showroom displays, the company said.
“With a product like the Nexon, Tata Motors is way ahead in terms of reliability, durability, right word of mouth, proven mileage and charging station network along with dealer understanding,” Puneet Gupta, director at S&P Global, said.
But Mahindra’s XUV400 will bring them closer to the customer base and help in gaining a lot of on-ground feedback, which can be utilised in improving the products, he said.
They will be able to gauge the challenges, what the consumer wants and how the product is reacting to various adverse conditions, Gupta said.
M&M expects that a quarter of its total SUV sales will be electric by 2027. It has already unveiled its plans to launch five electric sport utility vehicles. The first four will be launched between 2024 and 2026, while the launch timeline of the fifth vehicle hasn’t been shared yet.
The five SUVs will include the XUV.e8 and the XUV.e9 under the existing XUV badge, with a twin-peak logo in copper. The rest will be under a new electric-only brand ‘BE’—the BE.05, BE.07 and BE.09.
“They based XUV400 on XUV300 to make it affordable, given the small size and to roll it out faster since it’s based on an already existing platform, instead of working on a new platform,” Gupta said.
According to him, being a major diesel player, it’s important for them to get into electric vehicles as fast as possible. “You never know how the scenario for diesel vehicles will change amid increased focus of government on reducing emissions,” he said.
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