The Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio have passed the stringent Indian Amry tests, qualifying under the new category of GS800. The carmakers will be getting a tender of more than 3200 vehicles in the first year.
As we all know, the Indian Army is phasing out their long-lived soldier, Maruti Gypsy, as their norms have changed and become more stringent. About 15 different automakers approached the Army during initial discussions 2-3 years back to participate in the Army tenders. However, only the homegrown Indian carmakers, Tata Motors and Mahindra managed to take part for the rigorous trials. The good news is that both the carmakers have passed the Indian Army trials with the Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio.
The Indian Army will be inviting bids soon to supply vehicles under a contract that is expected to be worth Rs. 500 crores to Rs. 750 crores. The Maruti Gypsy and Mahindra Commander complied with the GS500 category, having a maximum payload of 500 kgs. The new category of vehicles is called GS800 – General Service 800. The vehicle should come with a hard top and 800 kgs of payload capacity with air-conditioning option. Both the SUVs went through field trials in varying weather conditions and terrains.
The rigorous trials included technical and maintainability tests of the Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio. These SUVs won’t be supplied in their stock condition but will be modified to meet the requirements such as blacked out lights with convoy lamps, provision for water and ammunition and hooks at the rear for towing military equipment. Both the carmakers claim that the Indian Army will soon invite bids in a tender for more than 3200 vehicles in the first year.
The bulk order by the Army will be a big volume churning opportunity for the Indian carmakers, especially for the Tata Safari Storme, as it already sells in limited numbers compared to the Mahindra Scorpio. Powering the Safari Stomre is a 2.2-litre VariCOR turbo diesel engine that produces 140 PS and 320 Nm. While the Mahindra Scorpio comes with a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel motor producing 120 PS and 280 Nm. Both the SUVs are equipped with an optional 4×4 system for off-roading purpose.
Source – Economic Times