Mahindra & Mahindra is planning to re-enter the compact SUV segment with Thar, which is a new version of the Commander Jeep that the company stopped manufacturing in early 2000. Mahindra plans to price the SUV around Rs7 lakh and launch it in Kerala and Rajasthan next month.
Since the past two years, the Thar has been selling well in the South African markets for Rs 9.5-10 lakh. “It is the need for a retro-styled product that has forced M&M to launch the product in Indian markets,” a person said requesting anonymity.
“This is a niche, retro-styled product and there will be a lot of young buyers and Jeep fans for such a vehicle,” a Mumbai-based dealer said. The vehicle will be available in soft top and hard top versions. A company spokesperson said, “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on any of our future plans or products.”
The Mahindra Thar, a derivative of the globally renowned Commander Jeep 5 (CJ5), comes equipped with a 2.5 litre CRDi diesel engine and has improved suspensions and features and better ground clearance. M&M plans to manufacture the Thar on the Scorpio SUV assembly line at its Kandivili unit and hopes to sell 5,000 vehicles a year.