Mahindra has announced that sales of its Bolero utility vehicle have crossed the milestone of 1 million units. The Bolero has achieved this feat 18 years after it first went on sale. The car also enjoys the distinction of being Mahindra’s best-selling model of all time. To many, the Bolero is also the vehicle that helped establish Mahindra’s image in the market as a maker of rugged vehicles.
The original Bolero (launched in 2000) was based on the Armada and has been updated over the years to keep it relevant, which made it a regular on the 'top 10 passenger vehicles by sales' list for most of its life span – that is, until two years ago, when it witnessed a sales drop. It made its comeback to the top 10 in February 2018 with sales of 8,001 units in the month.
The Bolero has recorded a 23 percent year-on-year growth in the last fiscal – more than the 20.9 percent clip at which the UV segment grew in the same period. In the April-February period of the 2018 fiscal, Mahindra sold 65,906 units of the Bolero UVs.
In conversation with Autocar India, Vijay Ram Nakra, Chief- Sales & Marketing – Mahindra, spoke of the key factors that have played a role in this revival in sales. “A strong comprehensive strategy for small cities and rural markets that the company put in place eight months back – complemented by the Bolero Plus – has helped the SUV regain lost volumes,” he said.
For those who may not know, the Bolero Plus is a marginally shortened version of the Bolero. Its sub-four-metre length and 1.5-litre diesel engine qualify it for the government's lower rate of taxation on ‘small cars’, allowing Mahindra to price this version very competitively. Spec-to-spec, the Bolero Plus undercuts the regular Bolero by Rs 90,000, explaining how Mahindra has managed to make deeper inroads into the price-sensitive utility vehicles segment.