The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 14 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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M&M, Maruti new kids in demand

New Delhi, Nov. 13: Mahindra & Mahindra’s compact utility vehicle Quanto and Maruti Suzuki’s Alto 800 have managed to drive robust demand in a subdued market, where auto makers are doling out discounts of over 15 per cent of the vehicle price to push sales.

In the motorbike segment, Hero MotoCorp made a record sale of one lakh units in a single day on Sunday.

Within two months of its launch, M&M secured booking of over 10,000 units of the down-sized version of the Xylo. The auto maker had opened bookings for Quanto from September 21, 2012, across the country.

Meanwhile, with bookings of over 35,000 units in less than a month after its launch in mid-October, the new Alto 800 is the fastest selling passenger vehicle in recent times. Maruti Suzuki chose an aggressive entry price of Rs 2.44 lakh for the new variant, which is Rs 5,000 less than that of the previous-generation version.

To meet the increasing demand for the Quanto, Mahindra & Mahindra is ramping up the capacity of its Nashik plant from 2,500 to 3,500 units per month from January of 2013.

M&M also plans to export the Quanto to neighbours Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and also to South Africa, Europe and Latin America.

“This strengthens our belief that the Quanto will create a new category within the SUV segment with its unique value proposition. We are confident of meeting the demand for the Quanto and are in the process of ramping up our production capacity at Nashik,” Pravin Shah, chief executive (automotive division) at Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), said.

The compact SUV Quanto (with a sub-4 metre length), was launched in four variants (C2, C4, C6 and C8) with prices ranging between Rs 5.99 lakh and Rs 7.57 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). All the Quanto variants are powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine.

Aimed at premium hatchback buyers, the Quanto is a versatile SUV that can be used conveniently for city drives as well as for weekend drives outside the city.

M&M has grown over 15-20 per cent in April to October 2012 with sales of close to 1,58,000 units and has overtaken Tata Motors as the third largest automobile maker.

The domestic car market grew just 3 per cent in April-October at 1,082,431 units compared with 1,052,560 units. This is a far cry from the growth of 9-12 per cent predicted for the year forcing companies to dole out huge discounts.

Hero sales

Giving a huge spurt to its festive sales, Hero MotoCorp retailed over 1,00,000 units of two-wheelers on the auspicious day of Dhanteras on Sunday.

“With overwhelming demand for our range of models, we have sold over one lakh two-wheelers on Dhanteras. We expect this trend to persist, and are looking at posting record retail sales this festive season,” said Anil Dua, senior vice-president (marketing & sales), Hero MotoCorp.