M&M's Xylo to take on Toyota Innova from December

The Indian utility vehicle (UV) scene is set to heat up this winter with the appearance of a new entrant - the Xylo. This multi-utility vehicle (MUV) from the Mahindra & Mahindra stable is set to storm the market within the next two months and will be positioned between the company's current bestsellers, the Bolero and the Scorpio. The new vehicle, earlier codenamed Ingenio, has been developed completely in-house after the success of the Scorpio. (See: M&M to launch Ingenio by end of 2008)

Billed as the most ambitious project of the company after Scorpio, the vehicle will be rolled out from its newly built facility at Nashik near Pune and will be introduced simultaneously in several overseas markets. The multi-variant Xylo will initially have a diesel engine (2.5 litre CRDi) followed by a petrol engine (co-developed by AVL) and an automatic transmission variant.

The company is looking at an initial capacity of 25,000 units. It is speculated to be priced around Rs7-Rs8 lakh to compete with Toyota's Innova and the upcoming Tata Indicruz Crossover. Primarily a mid-segment player, M&M is also planning to launch a premium SUV (codenamed W201) by 2009, sources said.

According to the press release from the company, ''The much awaited Mahindra Xylo has been co-created with customers for developing a vehicle around the lifestyle and luxury aspirations of its end customer. This is further testimony to Mahindra's customer centric vision of co-creating products and services based on the feedback and latent needs of its consumers.''

''Xylo has been developed by a team consisting of 160 experts who have created new benchmarks in styling, technology and performance,'' said Pawan Goenka, Mahindra Auto President.

Analysts say M&M is developing new products to strengthen its position as a leading SUV player. M&M's UV range at the bottom-end includes soft-tops, Commander (recently renamed Major) and the Max, which retails in the taxi-segment. There is also Bolero, which contributes the maximum to M&M sales. The Bolero, including the Camper, sells around 4,500 units a month, followed by the Scorpio, which sells around 3,000 units a month.