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M&M to release low-emission cars

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) said it plans to release low-emission models with hybrid and electric powertrains for the Indian market. “We have to develop technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles. As for upcoming vehicles, M&M is spending Rs1 billion (US$20.43 million) per annum on productive segments, which includes software development, prototyping, testing and in-house infrastructure to develop new models,โ€ M&M Head of Design B. Bhaumik said. The companyโ€™s move, according to media reports, may have been prompted by the promising response to hybrid vehicles such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius in the Indian market. Growing demand for eco-friendly vehicles that comply with Bharat Stage IV emission standards, equivalent to Euro IV standards, which will be effective April 2010, and the fuel-efficiency benefits of such models are spurring demand for these vehicles in India. (January 21, 2009)