Xylo all ready to go for World Cup
While many vehicle manufacturers are just about ready to go on bended knees to the government for a financial bailout, Mahindra this week announced a R30million expansion deal - and the planned introduction of six new vehicles this year for the local motorist.
Speaking at the launch of their new Xylo, top executive Pawan Goenka emphasised that his company was looking "to be in a strong position" when the economy eventually recovered.
"South Africa is strategic in our overall globalisation strategy and we are committed to this market," he said.
The Xylo will be available in two derivatives - the base model E2 (R159900) and the top-of the range E8 (R189000).
The Xylo, looking a bit like the discontinued Toyota Condor, indicates that Mahindra obviously have one eye on next year's World Cup as their new product is ideal for transporting people.
Both models have a 2x2x3 seating configuration and no matter where you sit, leg room is ample.
A short drive through the Muldersdrift area left a favourable impression, if not overly exciting.
During the drive I realised this vehicle would be ideal for the small entrepreneur who wants to make inroads in the tourism industry - whether picking up or dropping off people at the airport, short day trips for overseas visitors - or perhaps a means of transporting staff home at night.
Standard features on the E8 include power steering, electric windows, central locking, keyless entry, fog lights and electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors.
Both the E2 and E8 make use of a 2,5litre engine delivering 83,5 kW and a claimed top speed of 155kmh - and a combined fuel economy (urban and open roads) of 12-14 litres per 100km.
Although a few overseas manufacturers (in other words Chinese) have fallen by the wayside recently, Mahindra appears to be committed to South Africa for many years to come.
They started off with two dealers in 2004 and now have 34 dealers. Let's hope that expansion continues.