Wednesday, June 5, 2013

M&M launches Verito Vibe at a starting price of Rs 5.63 lakh

Heating up the competition in the auto industry, Mahindra & Mahindra on Wednesday launched the Verito Vibe compact car at a starting price of Rs 5.63 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai).

The Verito Vibe will come in three variants D2 (Rs 5.63 lakh), D4 (Rs 5.89 lakh) and D6 (Rs 6.49 lakh). Vibe will be offered in seven colour variants.

The ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of the saloon is 20.8 km/litre. M&M is offering Verito Vibe with a 3 year/100,000 km warranty. The sub-4 metre car has the same 1.5-litre, 65PS dCi diesel unit that does duty on the Verito.

The car boasts of 330 litres of boot space. The latest offering from M&M is likely to compete with Maruti Swift, Toyota Liva and Honda Brio. According to M&M, the Verito Vibe is a wide bodied compact car that offers seating for three adults in the rear seat. The car boasts of three adjustable rear headrests. The vehicle has been designed with LED light streaming tail lamps on the C-pillar.

The D6 is also the only variant to come with safety features such as ABS with EBD, and driver airbag.

With an overall length at 3,991mm, the Verito Vibe falls well below the crucial 4-metre mark. This means that it can enjoy excise duty benefits.

Having a presence in the small car market will be a positive if demand returns in the next fiscal year.

"Verito Vibe gives us the opportunity to play in the large and highly competitive compact car segment," Pravin Shah, head of Mahindra's automotive division, told media.

The flagship company of the $16 billion Mahindra Group builds every other SUV sold in India, but its share in the segment fell to 48 per cent in the fiscal year that ended in March from 56 per cent a year earlier, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

In the passenger car segment, which excludes utility vehicles and vans, the company last year held less than 1 per cent of the market that is dominated by Maruti Suzuki.

Key to Mahindra holding its market share is not a small car but more SUV launches, some analysts say.

"Mahindra will continue to lose market share in the overall passenger vehicle industry, because of lack of new launches (by Mahindra) in the SUV segment and an extremely competitive environment thanks to launches by their competitors," said Yaresh Kothari, an auto analyst with Mumbai-based Angel Broking.

Renault SA's Duster has become popular in India since its introduction last year, and Mahindra must also compete with automakers including Ford Motor Co and Japan's Nissan Motor Co Ltd, both of which are expected to launch SUVs this year.