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Published on: Nov. 17, 2020, 1:22 p.m.
M&M launches Thar in new avatar
  • The Thar in its modern avatar

By S.M. Boothem

Recently Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) witnessed a double celebration as the company celebrated its 75th anniversary and chose this day to introduce its iconic brand, the new Thar.

“Over the years, the Thar has been a part of Mahindra’s rich history and has found its way into the hearts of many as an object of desire. On the occasion of the group’s 75th anniversary, we have written another chapter in its glorious history. In its all-new avatar, the Thar is a notch higher in its timeless appeal, owing to its ability to be as comfortable on paved roads, as it has always been off-road. We are confident that the Thar tribe will grow stronger as a new set of customers comes into its fore, in addition to the traditionalists,” said Pawan Goenka, MD & CEO, at the time of launch. He also unveiled ‘Timeless Mahindra’ – a coffee table book that illustrates the journey of the Thar brand. 

The Thar is available in two trims, namely AX and LX, with prices starting at Rs9.80 lakh for the AX series and Rs12.49 lakh for the LX series. Designed and engineered in India and manufactured in Mahindra’s Nashik plant, the new Thar will be available in six colours. A first for Thar (and Mahindra), it is powered by the 2-litre mStallion TGDi petrol engine, and by the 2.2-litre mHawk Diesel engine. These engines are offered with a choice of six-speed manual transmission or six-speed torque converter automatic transmission, with an authentic 4x4 manual shift transfer case with a low ratio. 

Looking at current buying trends, the Thar offers comfort and convenience in all driving conditions, be they off-road, on the highway or in the city. It is also loaded with a variety of the latest technology features. Mahindra has ensured that the interior design has been made as ergonomic as possible for all passengers, not just the driver. The Thar has been tested extensively in some of the harshest terrains in India and across the world. To promote the Thar brand further, the company introduced a range of accessories and merchandise which are available at Mahindra’s authorised showrooms and Mahindra’s e-store. 

New concept

Mahindra and Mahindra is well known for its rugged SUVs. To promote its brand and test the vehicles’ off-roading capabilities, the company organised its first non-competitive off-road rally in 1996 – The Great Escape. There were several events, in cities across India, in which Mahindra vehicle owners participated.

Since then, there has been no looking back for the leader in SUVs. Mahindra Adventure started in 2011 when Mahindra was rebranded ‘Mahindra rise’. The new concept of an ‘arrive and drive’ expedition fleet was first formulated by Mahindra Adventure with its own fleet of cars – Scorpios, XUV500s and Thars. The adventure calendar comprises a series of experiential events spread across different parts of India and neighbouring countries. 

The new Thar set the sales chart on fire. Within a month of its launch, the Thar has crossed 20,000 bookings and customers have to wait six months to get their vehicles. The company is also ramping up production to meet customer demand and reduce the waiting period. The first vehicle was delivered on 1 November to Aakash Minda, the online auction winner.

“We are overwhelmed with this unprecedented response that the new Thar has garnered. I must admit the response has surpassed all our expectations and production capacities,” said Veejay Nakra, CEO, automotive division, M&M.

To compete with the new Thar, Force Motors is working on its Gurkha SUV and has brought DY Works on board to design the brand. The Gurkha was showcased at Auto Expo 2020. The new generation of Gurkha is BS6-compliant and completely revamped. The company is expected to launch the new Gurkha at the end of the year.

As the automotive industry started showing good numbers on a month-on-month basis from June, the new Thar has now joined the party and generated a huge response from customers. With the festive season just beginning, the Thar is expected to increase its sales numbers in the coming months.

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