In its first year after launch, the Jeeto has sold over 24,000 units and has given Mahindra & Mahindra new power in the mini-truck segment.
India’s mini-truck segment (less than 2 tonnes) has seen rapid growth on the back of rising rural market demand and last-mile connectivity. This segment has long been dominated by Tata Motors with its popular Ace range of mini-trucks.
However, Tata Motors’ dominance in the sector is being challenged by Mahindra & Mahindra which has introduced a couple of new products. The first was the Maxximo in early 2010. This mini-truck was powered by a 2-cylinder C2 CRDe engine with DOHC technology and 4 valves per cylinder and had a starting price of Rs 2.97 lakh. However, after initial brisk sales, the product failed to make a dent in the segment and sales started to taper down. Piaggio also has its Ape Truck and Ape mini small truck but the company has a less than 4% market share in the segment.
M&M fired a fresh salvo at the mini-truck segment in June 2015 with the Jeeto small truck introduced at a starting price of Rs 2.32 lakh and in as many as 8 variants addressing varied customer needs. M&M claimed that the Jeeto offers superior product performance, lower maintenance, best-in-class mileage and the promise of a 30% higher earning potential. It was not long before customers took to the Jeeto and its success has helped M&M increase its market share in the mini-truck segment substantially.
Jeeto beats Ace on price
The Jeeto has two diesel powertrains on offer – 8.2 kW (11hp) and 11.9 Kw (16hp) – from the m-Dura Direct Injection engine with two payloads of 600 and 700kg and three deck lengths of 1630mm (5.5 feet), 1780mm (6 feet) and 1930mm (6.5 feet). The Jeeto range comprises of the S series (S6-11, S6-16), L series (L6-11, L6-16, L7-11, L7-16) and X series (X7-11, X7-16).
The top-end Jeeto X7-16, which is priced at Rs 2.80 lakh, is Rs 1.19 lakh cheaper than the Tata Ace HT, which has a sticker price of Rs 3.99 lakh. The Jeeto L6-11, which costs Rs 2.50 lakh, is Rs 5,000 cheaper than the Tata Ace Zip.
In June 2015, just before the Jeeto was launched, M&M’s mini-truck offering were the Maxximo and Gio; the company sold a total of 715 units and had a market share of 8.8%. Tata Motors at the time had a dominating 86% share with total sales of 6,957 units.
Over the past year, the Jeeto has sold a little over 24,000 units, helping M&M notch double-digit growth and grab over 20% market share. During the same period, Tata Motors’ mini-truck market share has declined by nearly 10%, indicating that the Jeeto has eaten into its market.
To celebrate Jeeto’s first anniversary, M&M has an exchange offer of up to Rs 20,000. Commenting on the Jeeto’s overall standing in the market, Pravin Shah, president & chief executive (Automotive), M&M, said, “A game-changer in its category, the Jeeto has helped us increase our market share substantially in the less than 2-tonne LCV segment.
Maruti Suzuki enters the fray
Interestingly, Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest passenger vehicle maker, diversified into LCVs with the Super Carry mini-truck. This move is expected to further intensify the competition in the mini-truck segment as Maruti looks for traction in the segment, armed with its strong brand image and humungous network across the country.
With a bountiful monsoon and demand rearing up once again in rural India, expect the battle for mini-truck sales to further intensify. On its part, leader Tata Motors will have to do some homework to tackle the new kids on the block -- the Jeeto and the Super Carry. Stay tuned for further updates on the exciting mini-truck sales saga.
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