ICML to launch new SUV to compete with XUV

International Cars and Motor Ltd (ICML) and subsidiary of the Sonalika group is working on a brand new SUV which could see an 2012 launch and will compete with the likes of Mahindra’s XUV 500, and Tata Safari. The company will display a concept vehicle in the Auto Expo in Delhi early next year.

Sonalika had also shown a concept of an SUV long ago at the 2008 Auto Expo. The company had tied up the Rover group from Britain and also announced ambitious projects in collaboration with Italy’s automobile design house for world cars.

The company had said it was going to develop a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a passenger car with Pininfarina that would be positioned in the ‘C’ segment priced between Rs. 8-10 lakhs.

With market growing both in terms of numbers and competition, ICML will need a very well planned strategy to create a niche and position for it self. The XUV currently has acquired the number one spot and the Tata’s new Merlin is expected to be a bench mark for Tata Motors in terms of quality and features when is gets launched.

Currently the sells the Rhino MUV in select market and is powered by a CRDi engine. The new SUV will be launched pan India and will have a new dealership network in place.

The company plans to raise funds through a public offer in the next 3-4 years and looks at a IPO down the road.

The 1989-incorporated ICML, functioning from Hoshiarpur, makes the Rhino series of multi-utility vehicles that can seat seven-eight passengers. They function both as taxis and private vars. Sonalika Group, has been into making farm equipment since 1969. They started making tractors in 1996, and entered the utility vehicle sector, which is slated to grow at 16 per cent in India. Rhino was launched in 2006.

The company operates out of a manufacturing facility in Amb, Himachal Pradesh with a capacity to produce 24,000 units per annum.