Mahindra & Mahindra has launched the Jeeto, its all-new small commercial vehicle (SCV) which is squarely targeted at the best-selling Tata Ace range of SCVs. The Jeeto range will be produced at the company's recently expanded Zaheerabad plant in Telangana state. In the longer term, the Jeeto platform will spawn a passenger variant.
Importantly, the Jeeto replaces the Mahindra Gio, which has been phased out. The Gio was launched on October 28, 2009, priced at Rs 1.69 lakh and positioned as a new model between the three-wheeler and mini- truck segments. However, sales of the Gio, which has a 9bhp diesel engine, did not take off as per company expectations. In 2013-14, the Gio sold 3,208 units and in 2014-15, sales dropped to 1,109 units.
In a bid to cater to the varied needs of the sub-1-tonne load segment customers in India, the Jeeto is being made available in a modular range of 8 mini-trucks. Pricing for the Jeeto starts at an aggressive Rs 2.32 lakh (ex-showroom Telangana for BS III). The vehicle, which is also available in BS IV form, will be available in S, L and X series, catering to mini-truck, micro-truck and three-wheeler customers.
An optimistic M&M says the Jeeto will be a game-changer in last-mile distribution as it offers multiple options to choose from: 2 powertrains (11hp and 16hp), 2 payloads (600kg and 700kg) and 3 deck lengths (1630mm/5.5ft, 1780mm/6ft and 1930mm/6.5ft. These combinations will be available across a 8-variant range, namely 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.
Powered by Mahindra's new m_Dura Direct Injection diesel engine, the Jeeto is claimed to deliver high fuel efficiency of up to 37.6 kilometres per litre. Coupled with lower maintenance cost and the ability to carry varied load options effectively, the company says the Jeeto will deliver upto 30% higher profit than its nearest competitor (read the Tata Ace).
Speaking at the launch of the Jeeto, Dr Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “At Mahindra, we have regularly created disruptions in the market with our alternative thinking and the Jeeto with its unique value proposition is a clear validation of this philosophy. A true ‘Make-in-India’ vehicle with a modular platform, the Jeeto is poised to redefine the landscape of the small commercial vehicle industry within India and drive positive change by providing its customers with a higher earning potential.”
Pravin Shah, president and chief executive (Automotive), Mahindra & Mahindra, added, “We have identified specific need gaps among customers in the sub-1 tonne category through consumer insights and feedback. To fulfill these latent and existing customer needs, we have launched the Jeeto. This vehicle will play a significant role in last mile distribution and will be a compelling option for both stand operators and small and medium scale businessmen and traders, with higher earning potential and better mileage.”
M&M is offering a warranty of 2 years/40,000km (whichever is earlier) on the Jeeto, which will be available in 5 colours.
The goods carrier segment of the LCV sector saw de-growth of 13.36% in 2014-15 with sales of 337,390 units. In 2013-14, this vehicle segment sold 389,434 units and in 2012-13, sales comprised 476,695 units.
For the first two months of 2015-16, a total of 46,080 goods LCV carriers have been sold, down 6.89% year on year. However, industry experts are of the opinion that with the M&HCV sector posting growth for the past 10 months and improved market sentiment, it won’t be very long before growth filters down to the LCV segment, albeit in a slow manner.