Project Scorpio: The Making of India's First Indigenous Sports Utility Vehicle

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER046
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1997-2004
Organization : Scorpio
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Automobile

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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"Project Scorpio was not a top-down strategy nor one man's vision; it was a bottom-up programme."

-Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director of M&M, in 2002.1

"Scorpio was a journey towards creating a new category and a new market."

-Rajesh Jejurikar, vice president, marketing, automotive sector of M&M, in 2003.2

Scorpio Makes A Mark

In November 2003, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), a major automobile and farm equipment manufacturer, became the second auto company in India to receive the prestigious National Award for Research and Development. The award was given in recognition of its achievement in manufacturing India's first indigenously developed Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), 'Scorpio'. The award was presented by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, under the Government of India's Ministry of Science and Technology. Several parameters, like financial inputs, scientific and technological advancement of the project, status of in-house Research & Development, environmental consciousness, and use of imported technology, were applied in judging the winner.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

The National Award was just one of the major awards that came Scorpio's way since it was launched in mid-2002. Within a year of its launch, the vehicle also won the 'Car of the Year' award from Business Standard Motoring, the 'Best SUV of the Year' by BBC Wheels and the 'Best Car of the Year', also from BBC Wheels.

In addition, it was also the winner of CNBC and Auto Car's 'Car of the Year 2003' award (generally considered to be the Oscars of the Indian automobile industry), and the 'Product Launch of the Year' award given by the Business Standard Brand Derby. "Scorpio is the result of extensive R&D, right from concept to commercial production," said Anand Mahindra (Mahindra), vice chairman and MD of M&M.3

Analysts said the main reason for Scorpio's remarkable success in the Indian automobile market was that it catered to a previously neglected niche. Scorpio fell between a passenger car and an SUV.

While it was designed as and looked like an SUV (with its sporty looks and sturdy design), it also offered all the comfort and elegance of a passenger car. Therefore, Scorpio's target market straddled both passenger car buyers as well as SUV fans.

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1]  "Betting big," Business India, June 10, 2002.

2] Prasad Sangameshwaran, "Scorpio's low-cost drive," Business Standard, March 18, 2003.

3] "Mahindra Scorpio wins national award for R&D," The Economic Times, November 12, 2003.

 

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