Pretoria: While it might not be growing at the same headline-grabbing pace as Chinese firms like Haval, India’s Mahindra is a brand to watch.
The 4x4 specialist has been gradually growing its footprint in South Africa, having sold a monthly average of over 1000 units in the first quarter of 2022, which saw the manufacturer sell a total of 3306 units. And at the end of the last financial year, the brand had grown by 37.4% versus the preceding period.
This impressive growth is largely thanks to the increasing popularity of the Scorpio Pik-Up, which is partially locally assembled, and which found 711 new homes last month, but the KUV100 and XUV300 compact crossovers have also been achieving reasonably good numbers, the latter closing on the 200 mark last month.
Now Mahindra is turning its attention to larger SUV products, with news that the new-generation Scorpio and XUV700 are set to hit local shores.
Mahindra South Africa has not provided a timeline as yet, but it has said that the XUV700 will reach our shores first.
Revealed in India last year, the Mahindra XUV700 replaces the XUV500 and boasting more than 60 new ‘connected car features’ it is by far the most advanced vehicle that Mahindra has ever produced. Available features include a Sony 3D surround sound system, a whole suit of driver assist systems, 360-degree surround view parking and a wide dashboard screen that includes both infotainment and digital instrumentation.
On the engine front, Mahindra is offering a revised 2.2-litre unit in 114kW/360Nm and 136kW/450Nm guises as well as a 2.0-litre turbopetrol that produces 147kW and 380Nm.
The new Mahindra Scorpio is yet to be revealed, but it is expected to slot beneath the XUV700 and while it should offer a similar engine line-up to the latter, the newcomer will reportedly be built around an updated ladder frame structure shared with the new Thar.
Sadly, however, there is currently no word on whether the new Mahindra Thar, which could make an interesting alternative to the Suzuki Jimny with its baby-Wrangler looks, is heading to South Africa.
Speaking on the company’s local sales success, Mahindra South Africa CEO Rajesh Gupta says the local division has really picked up momentum in the last five years:
“Over the past 18 years, we have worked hard to lay a solid foundation in South Africa. This included selecting, investing in and training the right network of dealers and making sure our products meet the high standards of South African customers and local conditions,” Gupta said.
“While Mahindra has grown significantly since establishing an office in South Africa in 2004, we have really picked up momentum in the last five years. And despite the Covid-related disruptions and nagging stock shortages, we have outpaced the overall vehicle market ever since.”