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Why Mahindra Only Makes SUVs?

XUV 700, 300, TUV 300, Scorpio, Bolero. Ever thought why Mahindra always makes SUVs and not any other segment? Did they ever try to make a sedan or hatchback? Let’s get into the history of a true global SUV maker and know their penchant for big vehicles.

Mahindra is one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in India. In FYI 2022, Mahindra sold lakhs of vehicles and took a seat amongst India’s top 4 automobile manufacturers.

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How Mahindra & Mahindra Was Formed?

Mahindra and Mahindra | The name you know, the history you don't
Jagdish & Kailash Chandra Mahindra

Mahindra & Mahindra was founded as a steel trading company on 2 October 1945 in Ludhiana as Mahindra & Muhammad by brothers Kailash Chandra Mahindra and Jagdish Chandra Mahindra along with Malik Ghulam Muhammad. Anand Mahindra, the present Chairman of Mahindra Group, is the grandson of Jagdish Chandra Mahindra. 

After the Independence in 1947, the new country Pakistan was formed, and Muhammad emigrated to Pakistan. He acquired Pakistani citizenship and became the first finance minister of Pakistan. 

In 1948, the company changed its name to Mahindra & Mahindra. The expansion started in manufacturing agricultural equipment and machinery. The most important one, Mahindra, started assembling under the license of the Willys Jeep in India.

First Breakthrough

Mahindra’s first attempt to build a Sport Utility Vehicle was the Bolero, launched with a bold new look and an aggressive marketing campaign to support it. It was the best-selling SUV for ten years straight.

Pawan Goenka, the then General Manager of R&D, was responsible for executing Mahindra Automobiles’ future. The idea was that Mahindra had to provide automotive solutions to a country that was rapidly changing in all facets of life while continuing to be relevant to the rural market. 

Mahindra Bolero
Mahindra Bolero

When the Scorpio was launched in 2002, it was the biggest step forward for Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) in 50 years, leapfrogging the brand into a new era of products. 

While the Scorpio ruled the roads in the new millennium, work progressed tirelessly at the R&D centres of Mahindra to go to the next level. A monocoque SUV that would ride and handle like a car and would have all the modern comfort and safety features that the evolving SUV customers were looking for. 

The cheetah-inspired XUV500 was a revolution in every sense of the word and did wonders to establish Mahindra as a contemporary SUV maker.

Also launched around the same time, the  Mahindra Thar was a niche legacy product that immediately attained cult status among aspiring off-roaders. Continuous and effective communication exercises like the ‘Live young, live free’ campaign ensured that Mahindra was a one-stop solution if you were looking for an active lifestyle.

The XUV 700 needs no introduction, and it is the talk of the town. People are fighting to get their hands on it. The waiting period is up to 2 years for select variants. Mahindra’s foray into the luxury segment has proven successful, and it can be considered the best buy in the 20 to 30 lakh segment.

Carrying The Legacy

Mahindra new logo
Mahindra new logo

Mahindra attempted to make smaller products and first made passenger vehicles with the Logan in April 2007 under the Mahindra Renault joint venture. However, it was a complete flop. The two-wheeler segment is also not well received by the audience. However, Mahindra is running successfully in the commercial segment with its trucks.

New leadership is taking a radically different approach. Non-core businesses are being shed to concentrate purely on what made Mahindra great in the first place – full-blown SUVs. There is a much greater focus on high-performing core segments for the brand, where it is confident of finding success. And yes, all of them are SUVs, but more interestingly, most will fall in the Rs 10-20 lakh price range.

According to a media report, the automotive giant will focus on making only purebred SUVs, and there is no plan to launch a hatchback or a sedan in the future. What are your thoughts on this? Do let us know in the comments.

Karan Rawat
Karan Rawat
Confucius did not specify moto-journalism when he penned everything in the 6th century B.C. Nevertheless, a proverb from him loosely rendered reads as "fancy something you love, and you will never have to work a single day in your life." My love for anything with wheels is like the moth's desire for the stars, the obsession with something beyond one's reach and means, and in part, we are all remains of unfulfilled dreams.


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