Indian auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is planning to launch a petrol variant of its flagship SUV XUV500 in the first quarter of next fiscal. The auto firm has taken this decision in line with the growing likelihood of the customer shifting away from diesel vehicles in the segment.
The company is also mulling launching a petrol variant of its popular Scorpio model depending on the demand for the same in XUV500.
Besides, it plans to launch another SUV codenamed 'S201' that is being developed on the platform of Tivoli from the stable of its South Korean arm Ssangyong in the second half of 2018-19.
In a communication to investors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) said: "The gasoline (petrol) version of XUV500 is likely to be launched in Q1FY18."
Currently, the XUV500 is available only in diesel fuel option with two engine variants of 2,179 cc and 1,997 cc, priced in the range of Rs 12.47 lakh and Rs 17.57 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
"Depending on the response to this product, the company would launch gasoline version of Scorpio," M&M added.
The company said the "S201, being developed on Tivoli platform, would be launched in H2 FY19".
Apart from these, there would be periodic refreshes to the existing vehicles, it added.
Big diesel cars and SUVs have been witnessing decline in demand due to regulatory concerns over pollution. Last year registration of such vehicles with diesel engine capacity of 2,000 cc and above were banned for eight months in Delhi-NCR by the Supreme Court.
Subsequently, M&M had introduced downsized 1.99 litre version of its mHawk engine series to power the XUV500 and Scorpio models.
Traditionally, demand for diesel options is higher in SUV segment compared to petrol. However, according to industry estimates, it saw a decline from around 90 per cent to about 80 per cent last year.
Commenting on the implementation of new BS-VI emission norms for commercial vehicles from April 1, M&M said utility vehicles and light commercial vehicles could become expensive by around Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.
For medium and heavy commercial vehicles, it said "the price impact could be to the tune of 7-8 per cent".