India’s US $12.5 billion Mahindra Group recently launched its global SUV – Mahindra XUV500 – designed and developed entirely in-house at Mahindra’s world class R&D facility – the Mahindra Research Valley – located in Chennai, India’s automotive hub.
The XUV500 launched simultaneously in India and South Africa and will set the stage for the emergence of the Group as a force to be reckoned with in the global arena. The response to the XUV500 in India was overwhelming withbookings sold out for the next four months within 10 days of its launch. New bookings of the XUV500 have hence been temporarily deferred since October 11th, necessitated by the never seen before response to the SUV.
The digital strategy reached out to over 10 million people across the globe, with 3.7 million online mentions of the brand. “The XUV500 represents Mahindra’s global ambitions as it seamlessly integrates world-class technology with the very best in Indian innovation. Its distinctive value proposition – bolstered by a new age digital strategy – has resulted in the XUV500 becoming an overnight sensation in its home country, India and I am sure this success will be replicated across the globe,” said Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group.
In addition to finding favour with automotive enthusiasts, the XUV500 also became an online and social media sensation, overnight. This was in large part due to the concerted digital strategy employed by Mahindra to increase decibel levels ahead of the launch. To begin with, the much anticipated name of the vehicle was revealed online, creating an aura of mystery around the vehicle. This was followed by a rather unique online contest which invited viewers to guess the price of the product, with the grand prize being an XUV500.
The contest fuelled further excitement leading up to the launch. The product website also hosted several preview videos of the product and the teaser TVC in the pre-launch phase, whetting the appetite of online enthusiasts everywhere. This created a great deal of momentum for the brand in the online space, with the digital campaign finally culminating in a live webcast which saw 1,50,000 viewers log on to witness the launch of Mahindra’s first global SUV platform. A perfect ending to this social media and digital phenomenon was the morphing of the microsite into a very advanced and interactive animated video which allowed viewers to ‘unveil’ the XUV500 themselves online and share it on their social media profiles for their friends to view.
The online strategy proved to be a resounding success as Mahindra’s latest offering in the SUV space grabbed eyeballs not only in India but across the world. The contest to guess the price of the XUV500 resulted in 1,15,000 entries, while the product received 4,50,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook alone. The product website received 11,00,000 unique visitors with 1,50,000 viewers logging on for the live webcast.
This strategy reached out to over 10 million people across the globe, with 3.7 million online mentions of the brand. Moreover, the XUV500 website received a phenomenal response with over 5,90,000 visits from India, over 17,300 from the USA and 9,500 plus visits from the UAE amongst other countries such as UK, Singapore, South Africa, Germany, Canada and Australia.
M&M says that the XUV500 incorporates significant inputs in styling and development from customers across the world. It is truly unique and global for the manner in which it was conceived and designed with all R&D activities for this SUV aligned with best-in-class quality and standards, technology, testing norms, regulations and emissions from the very start. In fact, consumer research for the Mahindra XUV500 was carried out in various Western markets, South Africa and India, with testing and validation of the product being done across Europe, Australia and South Africa among others.