New Delhi: Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd launched a compact sports utility vehicle, Quanto, that will compete with cars such as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s Swift that are smaller than sedans but bigger than basic compact models.
The Quanto has four variants, with prices ranging from Rs5.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Thane) for the base model to Rs7.36 lakh for cars with air bags, anti-braking systems and music players.
The company said the car can seat seven people and can run 17.2 km on a litre of petrol.
“It has been developed keeping in mind the evolving needs of our customers,” said Pawan Goenka, president (automotive and farm equipment sectors), Mahindra & Mahindra. “I am confident that the Quanto will create a new category within the SUV segment”
The car’s is shorter than 4 metres and, therefore, will only pay 12% as excise duty as against higher duties for bigger cars.
Compact estate cars open an entirely new segment to Indian consumers who, thus far, only had an option of graduating from a hatchback to a sedan.
Over the next few months, several car companies will woo urban consumers with more such models. Ford India Pvt. Ltd is expected to launch its compact SUV, EcoSport, in January. Maruti exhibited a five-seater concept SUV at the Auto Expo in January this year that’s expected to hit Indian roads in two years. Hyundai Motor India Ltd is also working on a concept compact estate car.
A little over one in five of the 2.5 million passenger vehicles sold in India are utility vehicles, according to a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. Of this, 11% are SUVs such as the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari. The rest are utility vehicles such as Maruti Suzuki’s Eeco and Tata Motor’s Ace.