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Mahindra and Mahindra officials Pravin Shah and Vivek Nayer at the launch of new generation Scorpio in New Delhi, on Sep 26, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

Mahindra & Mahindra to foray into petrol engines in 2015

Battling a losing market share, Indian SUV major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is eyeing to regain its hold in the segment and will come up with petrol variant engines for its future launches in the private car segment in India, a company official said Friday.

This will signal a major shift for the company which has so long banked on the diesel segment in India.

The company, which had a 58-59 percent market share in the Sports Utility Vehicles category in financial year 2013, is now left only with 35-36 percent market share in the segment.

The diesel price prevalent in January 2013 was beneficial to companies like M&M as diesel cars saw a better sales performance. However, with oil prices on the deregulatory mode and compact SUVs eating into considerable market share, the car major decided to reconsider its engine variants.

“We are not going to count on fuel price difference as our long term strategy. That means we need to have more petrol vehicles,” company’s executive director Pawan Goenka told media persons here.

In India, the company sells only diesel SUVs, but has petrol-engine powered vehicles outside India.

“In our future product launches, we will always have equal content in terms of variants of diesel and petrol vehicles in the passenger car category”, Goenka added.

Commercial vehicles in India will, however, continue to be powered by diesel engines.

The company already has 1.2, 1.6 and 2.2 litre capacity petrol engines through South Korea- based Ssang Yong, where it has a 70 percent stake.

According to Goenka, one of the primary reasons for the company losing market share was due to its weak performance in the compact SUV category.

M&M has now lined up three major launches in 2015 to regain the market momentum. (IANS)

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