It’s finally here, the Mahindra Thar – arguably one of India’s most iconic products – has finally received a much needed update. This new generation Thar doesn’t just pick up where the old left off, it takes a huge leap forward.
At the inauguration, Dr Pawan Goenka, President of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., said that due to Thar’s iconic status, there was “decision after decision” the company had to make during development. The decision to make the new Thar look absolutely purposeful and keep its unmatched off-road capabilities was a no-brainer, and looking at the vehicle, its specs and features, it’s safe to say Mahindra nailed it.
But for me, there are two key decisions made by the business that will define success for the new Thar – one that I like, one that I don’t like. Let’s start with the latter.
Given their common heritage, it’s inevitable that the new Thar will look like the Jeep Wrangler, and as Goenka said, “a Thar must look like a Thar”, but I think the company has hung on too much. heritage design elements.
Yes, balancing a unique design and being in touch with your roots is a tricky business, but Goenka said the company has seven design iterations, ranging from a simple ‘design evolution’ to a ‘totally’ design. new “. When it comes to the end product, I think the company has stayed too far from the “totally new” end of the spectrum.
While this is hardly a problem in India, it will be a big deal for Mahindra in times to come. The company is quickly making huge strides in its product development and export footprint, and in the medium term, it’s not hard to imagine Mahindra products side by side with Jeep and others on many world markets.
This is when a single identity would be a very valuable asset. Remember that Mahindra’s “heritage” is mostly concentrated in India, while in global markets a unique identity and personality would certainly help the image of the company. You wouldn’t want to walk into a market and get toast for being an “me too” product, would you? Even in India, competing in the same segment as Jeep will require a unique design language and identity.
Of course, it’s time to work on this, but as the company said, this is an absolute icon of a vehicle, and so if there has ever been a product that Mahindra would have could give birth to its own design signature, it was this one. The Thar would easily build and solidify the brand’s identity, which then rubs off on its stable mates.
Small car advantage
At 3,985mm in length, the new Thar drops below the less than four-meter mark, and had Mahindra gone for smaller gasoline and diesel engines, it could easily have qualified for the small car tax breaks. But going with bigger engines is a decision I absolutely love.
There is already talk online about using smaller engines and finding an attractive low price. It has merit and maybe could work later, but for now it is imperative that the Thar has a powerful and large capacity motor. As Goenka said, “Thar is about power” and beyond performance, imagery is key. You can talk about turbochargers and direct injection, but small capacity is still viewed by many as inferior, so I think launching with two large capacity powertrains was the right thing to do.
Mahindra is also criticized for not launching a 4×2 version, but again I’m glad the company stuck with just 4x4s. The Thar is already an “affordable” product and looks a lot like the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, where even those who buy it as a stylish accessory should know that the blade and its other tools are all very capable.
Having smaller capacity engines, 4×2 transmissions, and a lower price tag would result in an initial influx of customers, but that would collapse and also require skillful profit margin balancing. This is something an executive would do to get a quick promotion, but not what someone playing alongside the game would do.
And credit here goes to Mahindra’s long-standing team of loyalists, who, to good effect, did not fall into the “fast and big volumes but small margin” trap. Rather than trying to get more people to pull out their wallets, Mahindra has tried to appeal to those who will open them wider. This will only build the brand, increase the desirability for potential customers and the profitability for its creators.
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