Sept 29 (Reuters) -& Mahindra , India's largest utility vehicles and tractor maker, said on Thursday it has priced its new world sports utility vehicle model 'XUV 500,' beginning at 1.08 million rupees.
The top-end version, ex-showroom Delhi, has been priced at 1.29 million rupees, the company said in a statement.
The company will begin bookings from Saturday, it said.
This is the first major utility vehicle launch fromafter its Xylo launch.
As Asia's third largest economy grows at nearly 8 percent, demand for utility vehicles is on the rise. The segment has seen faster growth in sales in the first five months of FY12 compared to slow-down in the passenger car sales, data compiled by industry body SIAM showed.
In August, passenger cars saw a de-growth of about 10.1 percent, while utility vehicles segment saw a growth of 12.3 percent, data showed. Utility vehicles segment grew by 8.7 percent during first five months of 2011, while passenger car sales have fallen by 1.3 percent in the same period.
Earlier this month Mahindra had said it plans to launch the new sport utility vehicle, which is manufactured at its Chakan plant in western India, in India and South Africa by year-end.
In August, Force Motors , makers of LCVs and relatively new entrant in the SUV segment, had said it plans to launch two variants of its SUV model 'Force One' in 2012, to capture at least 6 percent market share of 70,000 vehicles market in the first year of its launch.
Shares in Mahindra, valued by market at $9.9 billion, gained 1 percent so far in 2011, while benchmark lost 20 percent during the same period. At 11:40 a.m., shares were up 0.6 percent to 795.60 rupees in a weak Mumbai market. (Reporting by Ketan Bondre in Mumbai; Editing by Subhadip Sircar)