Mahindra to phase out slow-sellers Xylo, Verito, Nuvosport

Mahindra & Mahindra is planning to phase out some of its slow-selling models instead of refitting them to meet stricter emission and crash safety parameters. The home-grown Indian sports utility vehicle leader will cut investments in certain models over 18-24 months after the units already in production or in showrooms are sold out.

While Mahindra has not confirmed the list of models that will be discontinued, a Moneycontrol report suggests that the manufacturer will cut investments on the Xylo MPV, Verito sedan, Verito Vibe notchback and Nuvosport compact SUV.

This is part of Mahindra's preparation for Bharat Stage VII norms and new crash safety standards. The BS-VI norms will be rolled out across India on 1 April 2020, and the new crash safety norms will be implemented from 1 July 2019.

Other car companies too are reported to be following a similar path of not upgrading their older models which are not big sellers. In such cases, it makes sense to replace older models rather than revamping them.

"We have to meet BS-VI in all of our products. We have already made a decision on dropping some products when we go to BS-VI, which are low volume products. And we have to invest in all the safety regulations that are coming in and therefore there is no letting up of investment in those areas," Mahindra managing director Pawan Goenka told Moneycontrol.

Mahindra Xylo will most likely be replaced by the TUV300 Plus, which Mahindra has been testing for some time now. The new MPV is based on the sub-four meter TUV300 SUV and uses the 2.0-litre mHawk turbocharged diesel engine. With an extended rear in comparison to the original model, the TUV300 Plus could seat up to 9 passengers.

The Mahindra Nuvosport compact SUV has never gained much popularity. The Ssangyong Tivoli-based Mahindra S201 compact SUV, which was seen being tested on Indian roads a while back, could be a likely replacement for the Nuvosport.

The Verito Vibe has always been a slow-seller, and even the Verito sedan is not posting good sales. While Verito was once popular among commercial buyers, new competition has been eating into its sales. The company might continue to produce the eVerito, the electric avatar of the sedan.

However, Mahindra Bolero, one of the carmaker's most popular models, will get upgrades to meet the stricter crash safety norms.

As per a government mandate, all cars should have airbags and ABS by 1 July 2019, which will not be a problem with the Bolero, Goenka said.

Mahindra plans to introduce new offerings into the Indian market during the coming financial year. The company will launch a new MPV, codenamed U321, to rival the Toyota Innova Crysta. Mahindra will also bring in the Ssangyong G4 Rexton under its own badge and a new brand name, to compete in the premium SUV segment.

The Tivoli-based Mahindra S201 compact SUV and Mahindra KUV100 electric are also expected to arrive in the market in the next financial year.