Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi wants to sell 5,000 Pajero Sport SUVs/year in India; Plans new variants and high localization levels
Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi’s best selling product, if an average monthly sales number of 250 can be called that, is the Pajero Sport SUV. Initially brought in through the CBU route, the Pajero Sport is now assembled through CKD kits at Hindustan Motors’ Tiruvallur factory, off Chennai. CKD assembly meant that the Pajero Sport’s price saw a chunky downward revision, making this SUV more attractive to luxury SUV buyers in India, whose other choices include the likes of the best selling Toyota Fortuner, the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ford Endeavour, and this is naming just a few luxury SUVs sold in the country.
The Pajero Sport that’s equipped with a 2.5 Liter turbo diesel engine good for 177 Bhp-400 Nm has managed to deliver decent volumes given the handful of Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi dealers in operation across India. However, the SUV’s feature list pales in comparison with competition, especially at the price at which the Pajero Sport sells in India. So, Mitsubishi plans to outfit the Pajero Sport with more features in the coming months. It remains unclear as to what exactly Mitsubishi would introduce on the new variants of the Pajero Sport.
In our opinion, the addition of an automatic gearbox would do their bit to boost sales of the Pajero Sport that’s currently equipped with a 5 speed manual transmission. On the inside, a few more luxury features would also be a welcome addition as the competition in the Indian luxury segment is set to hot up with the impending launch of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Fluidic. Hindustan Motors is targeting a big increase in sales for the Pajero Sport, what with the targeted sales for this SUV pegged at the 5,000 unit mark.
It isn’t only the new variants that could drive up sales of the Pajero Sport. Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi is targeting higher localization levels for the SUV. The Pajero Sport’s localization is expected to rise to about 60% from the current 20%. This big increase in localization is expected to reduce the production costs of the Pajero Sport and there’s a fat chance that Mitsubishi will pass on the benefit to SUV buyers. If the price of the Pajero Sport can be reduced, the SUV is capable of giving the Toyota Fortuner a good fight.