Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is gearing up to intensify competition in the mini truck segment to homegrown rival Tata Motors, which is currently leading the market with its Ace model.
The company, which launched a CNG variant of its mini truck 'Maxximo' -priced at Rs 3.99 lakh ,said it is looking to expand customer base through its "superior product offering".
"In the two years since we entered the mini truck segment with Maxximo, we have been able to build a good share in the market, which is currently dominated by Ace. We are confident that with a superior product offering, more customers will choose our product," Mahindra & Mahindra Senior Vice President Marketing (Automotive Sector) Vivek Nayer said.
He said, last year the Indian mini truck market stood at 2.2 lakh units in the load segment and 68,000 units in the passenger segment. "Our share was 22 percent in the load segment while that of Ace was 68 percent. In the load segment, Maxximo had 29 percent share while that of Ace was over 60 percent," Nayer added.
With the CNG variant of the Maxximo, M&M is optimistic that it would be able to add more customers from the Delhi and National Capital Region. "The market of CNG vehicles the sub-two tonne segment in Delhi-NCR was at 9,000 units in the last fiscal.
The market is expected to grow to 11,000 units this year," he said, adding that the M&M's CNG three-wheeler Champion had over 60 percent share, while Ace CNG was about 38 percent.
"With Maxximo CNG coming in, we are looking to expand the market also our share will go up further," Nayer said. The company is targeting transporters and corporate segment with the new product."Mahindra is committed towards sustainable mobility and the environment. The launch of Maxximo CNG is one more step in that direction," Nayer said.
Commenting on the market opportunity, he said: "Delhi NCR has benefited greatly from a policy thrust which leverages the potential of in expensive and clean fuel like CNG". On the overall growth in the mini truck segment, he said the market grew by 18 per cent last year but so fast this fiscal it has come down to about five percent.
"Last year M&M had a growth of 36 percent in the mini truck segment, which was much above industry growth and this year also we are confident that we will grow more than the industry," Nayer said without specifying details.
Asked if the company has cut down production due to the market slowdown, he said: "We are in line with market demand and are keeping a close watch on inventory."