Mahindra in talks with Hyundai to source automatic transmission for the XUV500 crossover
Indian SUV and UV giant Mahindra &Mahindra is in talks with South Korean automaker Hyundai to source an automatic transmission for the hot selling XUV500 crossover. The XUV500 is expected to feature a six speed automatic transmission if the ongoing talks with Hyundai succeed. Hyundai currently has 6 speed automatic transmissions that is widely used in a range of its car models, right from the Verna Fluidic sedan, to the Elantra Fluidic and Sonata Fluidic sedans. This transmission could be used on the XUV500 as well. Currently, the XUV500 comes with a 6 speed manual transmission.
The only automatic transmission variant in Mahindra’s line up presently is the Scorpio Automatic. Mahindra uses a 6 speed transmission sourced from Drivetrain Systems International(DSI), an Australian transmission maker which has now been acquired by Chinese automaker Geely, which also owns Volvo. The transfer of ownership along with production facilities being relocated has meant that the supply of the automatic transmission to Mahindra has dried up. Mahindra does have enough automatic transmissions in stock to meet existing Scorpio Automatic demand.
Coming back to the XUV500, if Mahindra does manage to source automatic transmissions from Hyundai, it will still be a couple of years before which the automaker will be able to launch the XUV500 Automatic. So, it won’t be until 2014 when we can see the XUV500 rolling out with an automatic transmission. The XUV500, which is a crossover available in front wheel drive and all wheel drive variants is a hot seller for Mahindra in India, delivering a consistent 3,000+ units every months. In fact, the success of the well priced XUV500 has been such that the sales of this crossover now exceeds the sales of al D-segment sedans in India, put together.
Mahindra has big export plans for the XUV500 to multiple countries across the world. Due to this, an automatic transmission will be a must and so will a petrol engine option. While the automatic transmission will take a couple of years to fructify, Mahindra is expected to launch a petrol engined variant of the XUV500 called the W2, in 2013. Also, a cut price variant of the front wheel driven, diesel engined XUV500, called the W4 version, is said to be in the works. Expect the cut price variant of the diesel XUV500 to be launched in the next few months, to garner more volumes for the brand.