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Mitsubishi set to launch Rs 15-lakh Pajero Variant Excerpts - The Economic Times
Feb 10, 2005
PAJERO, which introduced the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment to the country, could soon come within reach of a bigger market. Hindustan Motors, which assembles the SUV at its plant near Chennai, will introduce variants starting from Rs 15 lakh. Officials told ET the effort is to bring in a Rs 15-lakh and another Rs 25-lakh variant sometime this calendar year.

The SUV is currently priced between Rs 18-24 lakh. The widening of the price band will provide a bigger market, taking on the competition through greater pricing and newer features. Apart from the Pajero, HM is also planning to launch more models from the Mitsubishi stable. This is expected happen early next fiscal, officials indicated.

HM and Mitsubishi Motors are currently rolling out the the reduced-price Lancer LX. Despite enhanced features, which could add up to Rs 15-20,000 per car, the manufacturer has dropped the price of the Lancer LX to Rs 6.93 lakh (petrol, 1.5 litre), from Rs 7.36 lakh. The diesel, 2-litre model is priced, ex- showroom, at Rs 8.30 lakh, down from Rs 8.60 lakh.

Not only has the price been cut, with the manufacturer sticking to the same price across the country, HM-MM have reduced prices of the 143 most-frequently replaced parts have been revised, with an average price decrease of 56%. "We want to pass on the benefits of localisation to customers, "S C Gupta, VP, business unit head, Chennai plant, HM, said.

Mr.Gupta was emphatic that this was not a price reduction but an effort to make it an attractive upgrade from rivals Zen and the Ikon. The Original Equipment Maker is eyeing higher sales, having sold 3,000 units of the Lancer (all three versions) in 03-04.

"This fiscal, we expect to sell 6,000 units in all three models. We expect higher volumes through the upgraded versions but the full benefit of this is likely to be seen in the next fiscal. On an average, we sell 15-20 units of the Pajero a month, which is assembled to demand," Mr.Gupta said.

Announcing its new expanded dealership here, Mr.Gupta said, "the company has three dealers in the State and about 42 in the country. Apart from the existing 42 Mitsubishi dealers, we are in the process of expanding this network to about 50 by the year-end."

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