When Renault entered the Indian market a few years back, it had little experience. Thus the French automaker tied up with local automobile giant Mahindra. The first product to be launched was the Logan, priced a bit optimistically. The product didn’t sell, and Renault decided to part ways, giving Mahindra the rights to sell the Logan as its own product. Mahindra went solo with the Logan, re-badged it as the Verito and made some changes. The Logan started to sell better under the Mahindra umbrella.
Soon, competition started to get intense. A new segment of cars emerged, better known as sub 4-meter compact sedans. These vehicles measure less than 4-meters in length and are powered by engines which are less than 1.5-liter in capacity for diesel or less than 1.2-liter in capacity for gasoline. If the above criteria are met, the cars will be slapped with half the excise duty (12% against 24%), resulting in massive savings. Maruti Suzuki came up with the Swift sedan while Honda came up with the Brio sedan, both of which duck under 4-meters in length.
The Logan aka the Verito measured above 4-meters in length. In order to get excise benefits, Mahindra has made tweaks to the rear of the vehicle, bringing it under 4-meters. The result is the Verito Vibe, which gets a trunk with hinges (like sedans) and the rear windshield doesn’t open with the hatch door like it does in hatchbacks. The vertically stacked tail lights are quite old-fashioned, but the price is lower than the regular Verito due to the savings in duties (around $12000). The vehicle is powered by a 1.5-liter diesel engine producing 65 BHP and 160 Nm. Do you think the Verito Vibe looks appealing?
Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.a