Mahindra is reportedly planning to launch a sub-4 metre variant of its Bolero utility vehicle. The move comes as a response to Indian government’s latest amended tax structure, which discourages the production and sales of large-sized diesel vehicles. One of the company’s top-sellers, Bolero’s market has been shrinking for the past few months and is also the worst affected by Indian government’s new ruling.
The sub-4 metre Bolero is expected to retain the same wheelbase of the original, though its overall length has been reduced to 170mm. It is expected to be a seven-seater just like the TUV and NuvoSport, as the last two will be folding jump seats. Besides the reduced length, the smaller Bolero is expected to retain the same body and design of the original.
Under the hood, the upcoming Bolero variant is expected to be equipped with a 1.5-litre mHawk diesel engine currently found on the TUV300 and NuvoSport. With a reduced kerb weight, the engine is expected to deliver better performance and fuel efficiency. While interiors are expected to be redesigned for improved space, with comfort levels expected to remain on par with the original Bolero.
“This attempt may also help Mahindra make up for a partial margin loss on account of phasing out of incentives at Haridwar plant, without tinkering with the vehicle price. On the other hand, the new variant also helps in keeping the brand alive in the market,” one industry insider said in a statement to ET.
Mahindra is reportedly aiming at a yearly production run of around 25,000 units of the sub-4-metre Bolero. The upcoming SUV is expected to launch next month. It will be aggressively priced and will likely sit below the TUV300 in the company’s portfolio. The sub-metre Bolero is also the company’s strategy to keep the Bolero brand alive, as Mahindra preps an all-new Bolero expected to hit the market in 2018-19 to meet new crash regulations.