M&M's Scorpio, Bolero continue to top SUV pack a decade after launch: report

Though they are now over a decade old, Mahindra & Mahindra's Scorpio and Bolero brands are still giving their younger competitors more than a run for their money, The Times of India reports. Last month Scorpio, launched in 2002, registered its highest monthly tally since launch with sales of 5,605 units and its annual tally of nearly 51,000 vehicles in the just-concluded financial year 2013-14 was also its highest since launch.

According to auto marketers, a slowdown helped bolster the fortunes of tried and tested models as consumers preferred to go with what was known.

Nearly a decade-and-a-half since it rolled out (in 2000), the Bolero, with a March tally of 11,294 units was still the market leader in the SUV segment clocking 8,664 units in January 2014 and 9,137 units in February, while Scorpio came a distant No 2 in the pecking order.

Newer entrants like Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano lagged behind the Scorpio by nearly 1,000 units or more.

For the year too, the trend was seen to repeat with Bolero clocking 1,07,177 units as the leader and Scorpio, which sold a cumulative 50,949 units in FY14, the No 2 brand in the SUV/UV segment.  Newer entrants were anywhere between 5,000 and 7,000 units behind the Scorpio.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times quoted Pravin Shah, chief executive, Automotive, M&M as saying the company had posted highest-ever sales of Scorpio and Bolero in March and these were not merely strong dispatch numbers; they were backed by strong retail buying. He added, the company operated on a pull basis and not push basis.

Renault sold about 51,400 units of the Duster in the calendar year 2013 as against 49,500 Scorpios, but Scorpio took the lead, this year, to regain the top spot.

Sumit Sawhney, MD of Renault India, told the newspaper even when the Duster was ahead of the Scorpio in 2013, the company had maintained that these were like apples and oranges, and not to be comparable.

He added, both were different products catering to different segments. He added, the company thought Duster volumes were holding up well and were increasingly gaining acceptability in the Indian market.

According to ET, Scorpio appealed to rural buyers which increased the sales tally, and Mahindra's wide service network added to the appeal.