Known better for its SUVs, Mahindra & Mahindra made a move in the small-car category by launching Verito Vibe earlier this week.
The car is now being compared to other vehicles in its price segment such as Maruti’s Swift.
But is this a fair comparison?
The boxy design of the Vibe, similar to the Verito and other Mahindra creations, is a diesel car powered by a 1.5-litre DCi Renault diesel engine and there is no petrol variant planned. With a starting price of Rs 5.63 lakh, most city dwellers may not prefer to pick the Vibe over petrol alternatives like the Hyundai i10 or Volkswagon Polo.
Not very high on the aesthetic front, the hatchback does have spacious interiors and features meant for a ride on mean roads.
“I am confident that Vibe will create an impact in the compact car segment and find favour with the evolving Indian customer,” said Dr Pawan Goenka, President - Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, during the car launch.
Given Mahindra's buyers are mainly “evolving” towns where its tractors still remain popular, the car may be targeting buyers in smaller cities who are looking for an affordable diesel car. When it comes to post-sales service as well, the metros don't have a significant number of Mahindra service centers.
The segment in which Verito Vibe was launched is highly competitive, and features more popular cars with petrol variants of sedans as well.
The car-giant has also been reported to losing its share in the SUV market but will its latest offering zoom past all the criticism surrounding it and prove to be a success? Only time can tell.