With genuine off-road ability and after its recent upgrade, the Mahindra Thar is standing ground in the SUV segment, finds Team B&C
A rough-n-tough vehicle and an off-roader SUV the Mahindra Thar is on Goan roads since 2010 when it was launched. A soft-canopy jeep it is an all purpose vehicle that caters to the sporty segment of the automobile market. In Goa the vehicle has a niche clientele of rent-a-car operators as well as genuine sports enthusiasts.
Ground level survey reveals that the Thar is a great hit in the tourism circuit as it is the favorite hire of tourists in the beach belt. With the transport department putting a curb on the car renting business sales is slackened a bit. However it is showing signs of pick-up again after the launch of the upgraded Thar CRD in July 2015.
The cosmetic upgrade has given the vehicle neater exteriors and new interior features to make it comfortable to the passengers. You get a dual tone dashboard, three-pod backlit instrument cluster with shiny chrome ringed surrounds and new circular AC vents. There are more cup holders and also a 12V charging point.
Thar’s USP according to auto experts is that it looks good, is practical and is a perfect week-end getaway car. Other qualities are that it is sturdy, easy to drive and can take in any kind of road. As a result excluding Force Gurkha there are few competitors for the Thar in the market. Moreover the Thar is way ahead in sales and recognition compared to Force, say experts.
According to manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra the recent upgrade of the Thar is to enhance the appeal of a brand that is already has a dedicated fan club. There are consumers looking for a different lifestyle as they seek an adventure and fun.
Meanwhile, in Goa, the Thar’s only dealership is Muktar Automobiles that has four branches in Panaji, Vasco, Margao and Sanvordem. According to Shaun Fernandes, assistant general manager, the vehicle is popular among adventure riders and those who like to hard-core driving. Although popular perception is of the Thar being a rough terrain vehicle it can go on all surfaces. It is a go-anywhere-vehicle that is suitable for all-terrain. It drives equally well on asphalt roads and tracks, says Fernandes.
The Thar is available in two variants and both in diesel. The prices of the variants are Rs 6.01 lakh and Rs 8.19 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively. According to the dealership, sales are equal between both the models although the CRD variant sells tad higher. About 10 vehicles of the Thar are sold in a month in Goa.