Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Scorpio going places

When traditional utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra launched its Scorpio in the Indian market (back in 2001-2002), it was touted as India Inc's SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) version of the Indica. Both were the first Made-in-India products of their class of any standing. Also the price-power ratio at which they were offered made them great deals for the Indian consumer. Moreover the Scorpio was developed at a cost of just Rs 1600 crores, whereas internationally a model would be developed at at least three times that.

Though over the years, the Indica-platform of cars has been hogging all the limelight (worthily, because they sell in much more competitive market segments, and at much larger volumes), the Scorpio has been making quiet inroads into overseas markets. Currently being sold in South Africa, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Uruguay, it will now also be available in Oman. The stress on the Middle East market is no coincidence:

"The Middle East SUV market is one of the most dynamic and demanding in the world and we look forward to the challenges it presents," said Alan Durante, executive director and president (automotive sector) of Mahindra and Mahindra.
India Inc now has passenger cars that are just making it onto the menus of international buyers. The next step would be to ensure they are chosen more often. That would need a lot of effort, though one strategy would be to ensure a bigger and wider presence on that menu.