The 2013 Union Budget brought nasty surprises for all the SUV makers in India. According to the recent budget all the cars which carry engines bigger than 1.5-liter in capacity, length greater than 4-meters and also with a ground clearance more than 170 mm are to be classified as SUVs. With this budget being introduced Mahindra was one of the companies which was hit by higher excise duties for its range of SUVs.
In order to overcome this, Mahindra had planned to decrease the ground clearance of its range of vehicles to a little less than 170 mm. By doing so it would have affected the performance and handling of the vehicle. At last Mahindra added a ‘stone guard’ to all its range of SUVs so that all their SUVs has ground clearance less than 170 mm which prevents them from paying higher excise duties.
The stone guard being introduced is a metal plate which prevents body underneath from being damaged by stones. Although Mahindra introduced stone guard in a view to make it exempted from higher excise duty, it also serves as an added on protection. The stone guard has been approved by ARAI and would be featured in their range of SUVs soon.
Source – IndianCarsBikes