Mahindra launched its new Maxximo light truck last fortnight at a price-tag of Rs 2.79 lakh for the BS III version (ex-showroom, Navi Mumbai) which is the same price as the BS II version of its arch rival, the Tata Ace.
The Maxximo is powered by a double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, twin-cylinder, common-rail diesel engine that has a chain-driven cam and an output of 25bhp, compared to 16bhp for the Ace. This improves pick-up, acceleration and allows the Maxximo to carry heavy loads up steep slopes.
According to Rajesh Jejurikar, chief of operations, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, “The Maxximo is the world’s first mini-truck with common-rail diesel tech and offers an unbeatable value proposition at an
The claimed fuel economy is 20kpl (compared to around 17kpl for the Ace) and it also offers a segment-first technology like a drive-by-wire accelerator system and booster-assisted brakes with Load Sensing Proportionate Valve (LSPV) that prevent the vehicle from skidding under hard braking or on wet surfaces.
In order to lure value-conscious transporters, Mahindra is offering free maintenance for one year or 40,000km from the time of purchase. Payload capacity is 850kg compared to 745kg for the Ace and the Maxximo also has a larger loading area of 35 square feet. According to M&M, this would result in 25 percent lower operating costs, which result in a saving of Rs 3500 each month for the owner.
The mini-truck also features a leaf-spring suspension at the rear with six leaves, along with thicker wheel rims to improve carrying capacity. M&M has invested Rs 375 crore in this project and has a capacity to manufacture 3000 units every month at its new Chakan plant.
In terms of safety, the Maxximo meets AIS 029 frontal crash impact norms for the N1 class of vehicles, which is a first for this segment. The company estimates that the total size of the 0.75 tonne to 1-tonne segment (where the Maxximo competes) to be around 117,000 vehicles per annum and expects this segment to grow by 20 percent per annum.
The overwhelmingly dominant player here is the Tata Ace, which sells around 9000 units a month which gives it a market share of 90 percent. With this new model, Mahindra hopes to eat into the Ace’s sales and also expand this segment, eventually becoming the dominant number two player.In the first phase the Maxximo will be available in the north, west, Bihar and Jharkhand regions and then move to the south, Orissa and north-east of the country.
Mahindra confirms that it is also working on CNG and electric versions of the Maxximo which it expects to have ready within the next eight to 10 months, to complete the range.