Mahindra Group and Ford today strengthened their ongoing strategic alliance in India with the signing of two definitive agreements. (Read AutoInformed.com on Mahindra, Ford to Study Links in India, Emerging Markets and Mahindra, Ford to Co-Develop SUVs, EV, Connected Car Blends)
The two deals on powertrain sharing and connected car solutions reinforce the progress made in the strategic alliance between the two companies, first announced in September 2017 and followed up with five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in March 2018.
With Ford short on capital and profits such agreements are necessary to prevent capital expenditures and operating costs from further damaging financial results. At this moment Ford is planning employee layoffs/firings and seeking merger partners. (Ford Motor US Sales Reverse in September. Job Cuts Coming and Ford Motor Company Q4 Dividend Remains $0.15)
Under the definitive agreement on powertrain sharing, Mahindra Group will develop and supply a low-displacement petrol engine to Ford India for use in its present and future vehicles, starting in 2020. The BS-VI compliant powertrain will help Ford extend its existing offering of petrol engines, that currently includes the all-new 3-cylinder TiVCT family.
To co-develop connected car “solutions,” Mahindra and Ford also announced joint development of a telematics control unit. Once developed, the connected vehicle solution will be deployed across both Mahindra and Ford vehicles.
Both companies “continue to make progress on the remaining MoUs signed earlier this year. This includes leveraging their respective strengths on product development for India and emerging markets, including co-development of compact SUVs and electric vehicles.” Translation: Ford can’t afford to develop EVs on its own.
Mahindra has led the utility vehicles segment in India for the past seven decades. It is the only serious automaker with a portfolio of electric vehicles commercially available in India. Expanding its global presence, Mahindra owns a majority stake in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea, and it has entered the shared mobility space with investments in ridesharing platforms in the U.S. and is developing products such as GenZe – the world’s first electric connected scooter.
Ford was among the first global automakers to enter India in 1995. Now one of the largest exporters of cars from the country, Ford manufactures and exports vehicles and engines from its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. India is also the second-largest Ford employee base globally, with more than 14,000 people working across the Ford India or Global Business Services operations in New Delhi, Chennai and Coimbatore.