Growing demand for customised products

Mayur N. Shah

Targeting customers

A slew

of concept vehicles were on display at Auto Expo.

The concepts

being looked into are `image drivers' as owners of SUVs are keen on making their presence felt.

Mumbai, Oct. 15

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is planning to set up a design facility close to Mumbai. This facility will focus on in-house design work, creating concepts based on M&M's existing range of vehicles, said Mr Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Vice-President of marketing and sales, M& M.

The company has shortlisted the location for the facility and will be finalising it soon. Until now, the company has been outsourcing its design work.

Concept vehicles

At the recent Auto Expo in New Delhi, the company had displayed a slew of concept vehicles such as the Scorpio Passion, Bolero Inspira, Scorpio CEO and Bolero Commando. Based on the market response, the company has noted the potential in this niche segment and has decided to fine-tune its strategy.

The company is not looking at numbers but is taking the cautious first step to intensify its presence in this segment, said Mr Jejurikar. It currently has no plans to tie up with designer outfits.

The concepts being looked into are "image drivers" as owners of SUVs are keen on making their presence felt in society. There is a growing demand for customised products, added Mr Jejurikar. Some of the buyers are prepared to spend an extra Rs 2-2.5 lakh to doll up their vehicles and own something different from the others.

Marketing initiative

Company officials did not provide the investment details for the design facility. M&M has plans to develop an online marketing tool by creating a Web site at a later stage.

The concepts designed and displayed at the Auto Expo were part of a marketing initiative headed by a team from Mahindra Auto Specialties, which is now part of M&M.

Related Stories:
M&M to invest Rs 1,000 cr in 3 years on expansion
Mahindra unveils Scorpio hybrid, 3-wheeler Alfa
M&M to set up Rs 1,000-cr greenfield facility

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 16, 2006)
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