In dire need of a blockbuster product, domestic utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra on Tuesday unveiled its new 7/8 seater utility vehicle Marazzo.
To be launched in September this year, the Marazzo will be priced above the XUV5OO, Mahindra's most expensive in house product till date. The car has been developed jointly by Mahindra's R&D team in Chennai and its North American Technical Centre.
The Marazzo, which means shark in Basque a sub language in Spanish, is also a product of collaborative design by Italy's design house Pininfarina and Mahindra Design Centre. The design house was snapped up by the Indian firm in December 2015.
"The shark-inspired Marazzo symbolises the next generation of aspirational Mahindra vehicles.," said Dr Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. "A collaborative effort of Pininfarina, Mahindra Design Studio, MNATC and MRV, Marazzo is born of a vision to design a global vehicle with quality and refinement keeping in mind the aspirations of our customers."
Once India's undisputed king of utility vehicles, Mahindra has lost its mojo in recent times due to its ill-preparedness in the compact SUV segment and increasing competition in other segments. Its last big success was the XUV5OO in 2011. Since then it has launched at least two significant products in the sub 4 metre utility vehicle space--the KUV1OO and TUV 3OO. Both have failed to live up to the expectations. As a result, the company's market share between fiscal 2012 and 2018 has more than halved from 55.6 percent to 26.32 percent.
"The intense process of development and refinement of the Marazzo is comparable to any global vehicle and incorporates a number of innovations. This has delivered better space, smoother ride with a quieter cabin, best-in-class cooling, excellent safety and a tough body construction in the Marazzo," said Rajan Wadhera, President Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd. "Infact the Marazzo has the largest footprint (wheelbase x front track) of any Mahindra vehicle. I am confident that it will set a new benchmark and become a game-changer in its segment".
Built on a completely new platform, Marazzo is expected to come with a new 1.5 litre diesel engine which the company has been developing while a petrol will also be launched keeping in mind the shift in preference from diesel to petrol powertrains. An electric version has been ruled out for now.
"The Marazzo was conceived after long customer insighting. It is born of a vision to design a global vehicle." added Goenka. "It is certainly designed to take in more powertrains, smaller and bigger, than what we are launching it with. We have not designed it for electric and we are not sure if the size of this is the right size for an electric powertrain."