Mahindra to launch mini SUV this month

Mahindra & Mahindra, India's biggest manufacturer of utility vehicles, announced today that it will launch its smallest utility vehicle yet, this month. Named the Quanto, it will enter the market on 20 September, and the company expects sales to be steady at 2,000 units a month.

"Initially, we expect higher orders for the Quanto, but it should stabilise at 1,500-2,000 units per month," Pawan Goenka, president of M&M's automotive business, told reporters in New Delhi on the sidelines of an industry function.

Based on Mahindra's Ingenio vehicle platform, the Quanto measures less than four metres in length. Cars or SUVs that measure up to four metres in length qualify for 12 per cent excise duty, provided that they also have a maximum 1.2-litre petrol engine capacity or up to 1.5-litre for diesel engines. Larger vehicles carry a 24 per cent excise tax.

M&M currently manufactures the Xylo utility vehicle on the same Ingenio platform.

Goenka also said that Mahindra will introduce the Rexton SUV - which will be the first vehicle from its South Korean acquisition, Ssangyong Motor Co - before India's upcoming festival season.

On the company's Russian plans, Goenka told reporters also that the company will decide within the next six months on whether to set up an assembly factory in Russia.