Mahindra and Mahindra’s XUV 500 vehicle. (Source: M&M Website)

How India’s Largest SUV Maker Plans To Regain Lost Footing

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has managed to hold on to its title of India’s leading sports utility vehicle maker despite losing a chunk of the market share. And for Managing Director Pawan Goenka, that’s where the challenge lies.

“In our mainstream utility vehicle business, the biggest turnaround that we need is to regain market share,” Goenka told BloombergQuint in an interview. “We are at about 24 percent [market share] or so, and we were at 55 percent not so long ago. Everybody keeps reminding me of that.”

There is rapid growth of the sports utility vehicle market in India, Goenka said. One in three cars sold in India is now a utility vehicle. And Mahindra has been facing tough competition from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. India’s largest carmaker sold more utility vehicles than M&M in the previous fiscal year, riding on its compact SUV—the Vitara Brezza.

How India’s Largest SUV Maker Plans To Regain Lost Footing

With the segment growing at a much faster pace, Mahindra was bound to lose market share, Goenka said. “Every player is now in the UV segment. A dominant player cannot remain dominant because so many other players have come in.”

But even after correcting for that, I have to admit, that our [SUV] market share is at a level where we need to work at improving it.
Pawan Goenka, MD, M&M

That’s where its new launches come in. Mahindra is looking to step up its offerings in the utility vehicle segments with the upcoming multipurpose vehicle Marazzo, the S201 compact SUV and the more premium G4 Rexton. “All three vehicles are sort of a niche within the UV segment where we don't have a competing product,” Goenka said. “That’s what gives us the confidence that with these three products we can have a fairly significant turnaround in market share.”

Watch the full conversation here