Mahindra & Mahindra plans small cars on Logan platform
In a move that will mark its entry into the compact car category, Mahindra & Mahindra has said it can develop a small car on the Logan platform that it inherited from its erstwhile joint venture partner Renault.
Pravin Shah, CEO of the utility vehicle and SUV major, told TOI that there are a variety of possibilities that can be derived from the platform and a compact car could be one of them.
The company launched the Logan's rechristened version Verito on Thursday, and now plans to build up further derivatives on it.
Asked whether the company will look at getting into the small car segment, Shah said, "If we feel that post this and the next product (sub four-meter Verito), customers want another product, we will go for it. M&M has the capability and competencies to develop the product."
On whether the company needs to take permission from Renault before such a move, considering that the French carmaker still supplies the engine and driveline for the product, he said, "It's a free play for us to make whatever forms."
Using a single platform for developing various products is not new for the auto industry. Maruti has done so with the Swift platform that is used to produce not only the hatchback, but also the Dzire sedan and the Ertiga MPV.
Use of a common platform gives many benefits to auto companies. "The biggest benefit is that this reduces development time as well as costs. While a lot of testing and evaluation is required to develop a new platform, the same is not the case when you are deriving a new vehicle from an existing platform," an auto industry veteran said.
"Also, the under-floor area of the various cars will be common, which also helps in striking complementarities and keeping costs low. There can also be commonality of parts," the person, who requested anonymity, said.
Shah said that the newlook Verito, which sports around two-dozen changes over its predecessor, has seen fresh investments of Rs 50 crore. The product will compete with models like Maruti Dzire, Ford Classic, Toyota Etios and Tata Indigo.
The company is also in the process of developing a sub four-metre Verito sedan to benefit from lower excise duty. The cheaper version is in line with what Maruti did with the Dzire and Tata with Indigo.
M&M executives said "the market will decide" on the viability of having two versions of the same model at different price points. "We leave it to customers," a senior marketing official said. Mahindra & Mahindra plans small cars on Logan platform - The Economic Times