First global SUV for Mahindra dubbed XUV500

Indian automaker Mahindra has announced that its first global SUV will be called the XUV500, pronounced "five double-o." The company says the vehicle's design was influenced by input from buyers all over the globe, including unnamed western markets, South Africa and, of course, India. The XUV500 will be the first unibody SUV from Mahindra to feature a transverse engine, which means that there's a good chance it'll have a front-wheel drive bias. Beyond that, details on the new SUV are scarce.

Rajesh Jejurikar, chief executive of Mahindra's automotive division (right) said that he expects the XUV500 to make his company the lead brand in SUVs.

Mahindra says that it enjoys a market share of 60.5 percent in India due to the success of products like the Bolero, Scorpio and even the Xylo sedan. Pawan Goenka, president of automotive and farm equipment sectors (left) says that the XUV500 will launch in South America simultaneously under the same name, hopefully broadening the brand's appeal around the world. Click past the jump to read the full press release.
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Mahindra's First Global SUV Christened XUV500

Mumbai, September 2, 2011: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), a part of the US $12.5 billion Mahindra Group, today christened its much awaited SUV, project code named W201, as the XUV500 (pronounced as XUV '5 double Oh'). Designed and developed entirely in-house by Mahindra, the XUV500 is Mahindra's first global SUV platform, with significant inputs in styling and development from customers across the globe. In fact, consumer research for the Mahindra XUV500 was carried out in various Western markets, South Africa and India, with testing and validation of the product being done across Europe, Australia and South Africa among others.

Conceptualized with the aim of creating an altogether new category between the Scorpio and high end SUVs, the XUV500 is the next generation SUV targeted at Generation X, where the double O connotes the added Oomph value in the product. The XUV500 is contemporary, truly stylized with sophisticated technologies and incorporates the best-in class global manufacturing quality. The XUV500 is thus the first in a series of next-generation SUVs that will set the stage for the emergence of M&M as a force to be reckoned with in the global automotive arena.

Designed entirely in-house at M&M's world class research and development facility the Mahindra Research Valley at Chennai, the XUV500 is also the country's first indigenously developed monocoque SUV with the first transverse engine offering from Mahindra. What makes the XUV500 truly unique and global is simply the manner in which it was conceived and designed. In fact, all research & development activities for this global SUV were aligned with global standards of quality, technology, testing norms, regulations & emissions from the very start.

The XUV500, thus, is the very epitome of the Mahindra RISE philosophy as its development challenged the limits and conventional thinking, and involved the innovative use of resources. The vehicle will be manufactured at M&M's future-ready manufacturing facility at Chakan in Maharashtra, where again innovative engineering, state-of-the-art technologies and manufacturing excellence are simply par for the course.

Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, M&M Ltd. said "We are all set to create a new milestone with the launch of the Mahindra XUV500 which truly embodies and encapsulates the essence of the Mahindra Rise philosophy. Having extensively tested and validated our product with global and Indian customers alike, I am happy to add that we will simultaneously launch the XUV500 in South Africa under the same brand name. I am confident that the XUV500 will follow in the footsteps of its illustrious predecessors to evolve into an iconic brand."

Mr. Rajesh Jejurikar, Chief Executive, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd. said, "The Mahindra brand has evolved over time. Today it enjoys the strongest equity in the SUV category. Therefore, Mahindra will now be the lead brand for the XUV500. Additionally, with the XUV500 we are attempting to create a new category in the SUV segment, that will not only challenge the conventional but will also certainly translate into double customer delight."

Mahindra has today evolved as the undisputed market leader in the SUV segment with a market share of 60.5%, largely based on the domestic and international successes of its iconic brands like the Bolero, the Scorpio and the Xylo. In fact, the Bolero launched in 2000 continues to evolve and remain India's No. 1 selling SUV for the last 5 consecutive years. In a similar vein, the Xylo too has created a distinct niche for itself in the sedan – plus category. The Scorpio, of course, redefined the SUV segment in India and has gone on to become an iconic brand with a cult following among Indian consumers. Little wonder than that, M&M is today, ranked as an Olympic brand by Milward Brown because of the excellent bonding it enjoys with Indian SUV owners.

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