Mahindra & Mahindra which specializes in UVs is one of the worst affected automakers in the Indian government’s amended tax structure that discourages the use of large vehicles. In addition to the increased taxes for large cars, the Supreme Court’s ban of diesel vehicles with engine displacement larger than 2.0-litre has the potential to spread from Delhi to rest of the country eventually, thereby further undermining the prospects of SUVs.
Economic Times reports that Mahindra is silently working on safeguarding its best-selling nameplate, the Bolero, from getting affected by the taxes and the SC order. The car which is in existence for over a decade cemented its position as a rural rockstar and has been consistently clocking around 7,000 units every month. The Bolero is Mahindra’s top selling model, accounting for nearly 30% of its monthly sales.
So what is Mahindra’s plan to keep the Bolero from harm’s way? For starters, the plan is to reduce the length from the current 4.17 m to under 4 m so that the new product can benefit from the excise duty concession. Also, the existing 2.5-litre would be replaced by the 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit that is seen on the TUV300 and the soon-to-be-launched Nuvosport (new Quanto).
The sub-4m Mahindra Bolero (U108) which is expected to be launched in second half of 2016 will be the brand’s 4th sub-4m UV, after TUV300, KUV100 and NuvoSport. The company is reportedly expecting a yearly sales volume of around 25,000 units. Interestingly, the objective of the U108 is to keep the Bolero brand alive and appealing until the all-new model steps in around 2018-19 to meet new crash test norms.