( Worldcarfans ) - The Brazilian market still lacks affordable options of SUV and medium-sized pick-up trucks. With that in mind, Mahindra, an Indian automaker, has established a partnership with a local company, Bramont, in order to start producing and selling in the country the Scorpio line. Although not exactly cheap (the SUV costs R$ 86,864, or about US$ 48,500; the four-door pick-up truck, R$ 79,864, or US$ 44,600, and the two-door pick-up truck, R$ 71,864, or US$ 40,120), Scorpio prices are among the lowest available for its segment.
The assembly process is quite complex. Most of the body parts come from India and are assembled by Usiparts, in Minas Gerais. When the body is ready, it goes to Manaus, in Amazonas, to be put together with the other parts of the car. The complete vehicles come to Sao Paulo to be distributed to the rest of the country.
The only Brazilian made parts so far are the tires and the batteries of the vehicles, but Bramont intends to increase the national content as soon as possible. This tends to be quicker if customers give the vehicles a warm welcome. All options of the Scorpio line use the same engine, a four-cylinder turbodiesel CRDe that produces 110 bhp and 27.5 kgm.
Mahindra announced it would come to Brazil in 2006, during the Sao Paulo International Motor Show, but sales only started this year because the dealers' network is still taking shape. So far there are 11 of them, but Mahindra and Bramont aim to have at least 32 dealers by the end of the year. Production is now capable of delivering 200 units per month, but this number can be increased to 300 units if sales rise. "We consider the Brazilian market one of the most promising of the world. It is one of the only markets of the world where there is still room for production and vehicle sales increase. This market has very steady competitors and, therefore, we have to be cautious, but strong-minded", said Pravin Shah, vice-president of the automotive division of Mahindra.