"We remain cautiously optimistic. Why cautiously optimistic -- one -- consumer sentiment is not good, interest rates are still higher.. two -- we have registered a growth of 21 per cent so far this fiscal (year-on-year)", Mahindra and Mahindra Senior Vice President, Marketing (Automotive Sector), Vivek Nayer told reporters here.
The company was hoping that this year would be a good one as it had managed to have a "differentiated portfolio" with presence in all segments, he said.
Nayer and senior company officials were here to launch their latest premium sports utility vehicle -- Rexton.
According to him, the company was not present in high-end SUV which grew much faster than the industry growth.
"We were really missing a premium high-end SUV. This gives us the opportunity to be in premium high-end SUV segment," he said, after unveiling the vehicle.
Rexton is priced at Rs 18.08 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai) for the manual version, while the top-end automatic variant is priced at Rs 20.12 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai).
Stating that utility vehicle market was only 14 per cent in India about two years ago, he said last year it grew by 21 per cent with the launch of several products including Mahindra XUV500, Maruti Ertiga and Renault Duster.
"We want to come out with a fair share for ourselves in the premium SUV market", he said adding this was the purpose the company had launched Rexton in India.
The company had invested Rs 68 crore for setting up several new features at its manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune, including a new body frame shop, a separate engine line and a common assembly line shop.
"It is the state-of-the art manufacturing facility. We have installed capacity of 5,000 units (for Rexton)", he said adding some of the components for the car were being sourced from Korea.
Rexton would compete with the present market leader Toyota Fortuner which sells about 1,200 units a month, Ford Endeavour and Skoda Superb.