M m to revive jeep
Jeep has always been every adventurer's dream. When Mahindra & Mahindra stopped classic Jeep's production a decade back, many of its admirers were devastated. But now they can rejoice because M&M is bringing back Jeep. For those who grew up watching iconic Jeep dominating roads, it is an ultimate symbol of machismo. Jeep was a sturdy and reliable vehicle which was used by anybody who wanted more from a vehicle be it the police forces or a politician from the badlands of U.P. who wanted to address and impress the public.
Jeep's revival plans are at its last stages and M&M is busy finalizing the nitty-gritties. Industry analysts expect the announcement by the year end. The soft-roof Jeep powered by a 2.6 liter turbo-charged engine is expected to cost Rs 4.5-5.5 lakh. It will be targeted towards Indian tourist sector in Kerala, North East India and Rajasthan. The company is hoping to sell 5,000 units per year initially. One unnamed source from M&M revealed that this is part of M&M's strategy to do been seen as something different from its rivals. They do not expect it to sell like hotcakes but they simply want brand positioning.
Maruti Gypsy production has already been curtailed and this brings a unique opportunity to M&M to penetrate this hitherto untapped segment. This will enable Mahindra & Mahindra to easy increase volumes. The branding of the vehicle is still been undecided.
Back in June 1949, Mahindra started production of Willys Overland Jeep in India at its plant in Mumbai. The company subsequently introduced several versions of the vehicle though the exteriors remained mostly same. In 1991, M&M brought out the 'Commander', which was hugely popular. M&M even exports fully-loaded jeep 'Thar' to South Africa.
M&M has big plans for passenger car segment in India and is now increasingly been seen as major manufacturer in a crowded market place dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. Many of global and Indian giants have ambitious plans for Indian market which has a huge demand for cars. India has a big growth potential and various manufacturers have understood this.
M&M is already making giant strides in the heavy utility vehicle segment with a slew of new and refurbished models in the year 2011. Auto industry analysts told us that M&M has already started work on a Xylo pickup to be available in both single cab and double cab versions and a Gio passenger vehicle.
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