Mahindra’s attempt to capture the premium SUV market in India with the launch of previous generation SsangYong Rexton didn’t quite make a mark. Being an outdated product was one of the reasons for the Rexton’s failure in our market but the lack of brand value for the new overseas brand was also a major contributor.
Having learnt a valuable lesson, Mahindra has relaunched its luxury SUV campaign with a rebadged version of the latest generation Rexton under the Alturas G4 nameplate.
Priced at Rs 26.95 lakhs (ex-showroom), the new SUV has got the visual appeal, features, and the hardware to make a strong case for itself in a segment which is populated by well established products like the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. More importantly, it carries the familiar Mahindra badge rather than going with its SsangYong identity.
Talking to The Hindu, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra (also Chairman, SsangYong Motors) confirmed that the company has decided not to use the SsangYong brand in India as not many new foreign brands have become successful in the country. However, he said that, because of the high credibility of the Korean system, the future products will have a Korean connection.
Mahindra is currently working on a compact premium crossover codenamed S201 (aka XUV300) which is essentially Mahindra’s version of the SsangYong Tivoli. The SUV is slated to be launched in the country early next year with a new brand name. It is safe to say that all future SsangYong models that are destined for India would undergo a rebadging treatment before they hit the market.
Mahindra’s change of strategy in the premium segment not only shields itself from the risk of promoting a new foreign brand but it also would result in significant cost saving since there is no need to establish separate retail network. The success of Alturas G4 would go a long way in increasing Mahindra’s brand value in the local market.