Mahindra Scorpio SUV celebrates tenth anniversary: Continues its iconic journey in India
It has been exactly ten years since Mahindra launched Scorpio in India and till date this SUV continues to hold its own place of prestige in the SUV kingdom. According to company estimates, today 109 Scorpios are sold on a daily basis while 4 lakh have been sold across the globe ever since its launch. Though Mahindra Scorpio was launched in 2002, planning for the same began in 1997.
Back then, Mahindra was considered as a tractor manufacturer and this made all the more difficult for them to launch a passenger car. Dr Pawan Goenka, Automotive & Farm Equipment sector, President, who was present in that board meeting where Scorpio was in discussion back in 1997, says, “We had three options, to sell products licenced from MNCs, develop a big 10-seater car or build a new product from scratch. The last choice was the toughest, but we chose that option.”
Once Project Scorpio was underway, a team of 120 people with an average age of 27 years was put to task. This team was in charge of everything that had to do with Project Scorpio and was lead by Mr Anand Mahindra, Dr Pawan Goenka and Mr Alan Durante (Mahindra Automotives Director at that time).
After five years of research and development, Mahindra launched Scorpio in India on 20th June 2002 with a base price of Rs 5 lacs and a topend price of Rs 7 lacs. Within a week of its launch, 1,000 units were sold, a record for that time. Mr Anand Mahindra, VC and MD, Mahindra, says, “Project Scorpio was not a top-down strategy or a one-man vision; it was a bottom-up programme.”
Thinking about it now, Dr Goenka admits Scorpio was the turning point for Mahindra Group. “It showed us that we had the ability to start from nowhere — no people, no process, no design knowledge — and build all those capabilities. I think the rub-offs and collateral benefits from the Scorpio were huge not only for the company but for the entire group,” he adds.
After receiving recognition, the company launched an upgraded version os Scorpio with exciting new interior and exterior features. At the New Delhi Auto Show 2006, M&M showcased their plans for bringing out a hybrid Scorpio with CRDe engine and a Scorpio Pickup Truck. In June 2007 the Pickup version of Scorpio Getaway was launched and in November 2007 a teaser campaign for Scorpio m-Hawk appeared on company websites.
As you can see, the Scorpio has had an eventful journey from its humble beginnings in 2002 to a major crowd puller that it is today. As Scorpio celebrates its 10th birthday it continues to be at the forefront of customer satisfaction which each and every model that has been introduced.
It has delighted customers and wooed award jury alike due to its high technology and enhanced value. Even though the Scorpio has undergone a number of changes since it was first introduced it continues to be a highly capable SUV and one of the best offerings from M&M stables.