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Mahindra & Ideal Motors roll-out the KUV100 NXT K6+ to the market

Assembly of the KUV100 takes place for the Sri Lankan domestic market. No concrete plans are in place to export.

The latest KUV100 from Mahindra has been launched to Sri Lankan consumers. Assembled in Sri Lanka, the first KUV100s have begun rolling off the assembly line, located at Ideal Motors’ MILPL Plant in Welipenna.

It’s the first locally-manufactured vehicle to be introduced in Sri Lanka for the Indian Mahindra brand, and the first automotive manufacturer to enter Sri Lanka since Micro Cars partnerships with Geely and Ssangyong.

It expands Mahindra’s local line-up of vehicles which, up until now, has consisted mostly of pick-up trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.

Geared to produce over 5000 units per annum, the 10-acre plant was inaugurated in August of 2019, employing over 200 people. The plant is designed to assemble CKD (complete knock-down) cars, of which the KUV100 is the first.

Although this means that most parts are imported, with only final assembly taking place in Sri Lanka, four elements of the car are being produced locally: the batteries, tyres, seats, and exhausts.

At just over LKR3mn rupees, the KUV’s local assembly supposedly brings down costs, although it retails for approximately LKR1.4mn more than it does in India, in part due to local tariffs. 

The KUV100 NXT K6 (to give it its full name) is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine. With mini-SUV styling, it’s primarily a city car, and has just 82bhp.

It does, however, feature impressive ground clearance (170mm), and its long-travel suspension is said to be geared towards tackling rural roads.

Being aimed at middle-income families, safety will likely be of great concern. The KUV100 meets the minimum safety requirements for Sri Lanka; It features dual airbags, ABS and EBD, but has not been crash-rated as of writing. It also lacks any other basic safety features, such as stability control, curtain airbags, or Isofix child-seat mounting points — such attributes have become commonplace on cars sold elsewhere, and are often seen on most imports to Sri Lanka.

Although complete-knock-down, a percentage of the products used in the manufacturer of the KUV100 are locally made. 

At LKR3mn rupees upwards, the KUV100 undercuts Indian-built rivals such as the Renault Kwid (LKR3.4mn) and the Suzuki S-Presso (LKR 3.4mn) but is priced higher than the Chinese-manufactured Zotye Z100 (LKR2mn) and the formerly best-selling Indian-made Suzuki Alto (LKR 2.7mn).

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