The $19 billion Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company will work together for up to three years on what is described as the beginnings of what could be a longer-term cooperation between the two companies. (Translation: Mahindra and subsidiary SsangYong of South Korea – will likely develop and build a vehicle with Ford or as Ford watches.)
A revised Transit Connect could be one program because of Mahindra’s prominent role in the previous one that occurred when perennial loss-making Ford Europe was cash-strapped. Highly likely are utility and battery electric vehicles. (See also General Motors India to End Manufacturing, Sell Halol Plant)
“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra. “Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete… Today’s announcement builds on the foundation laid through our past partnership with Ford and will open opportunities for both of us.”
Mahindra has been leading the utility vehicles segment in India for the past seven decades, and India is on course to become larger than the U.S. market. Mahindra is the only maker with a portfolio of electric vehicles commercially available in India. Mahindra owns majority stake in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea, has forayed into the shared mobility space with investments in ride sharing platforms in the USA, and is developing products like the 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.
The Mahindra Group is a $19 billion federation of mobility companies that it claims helps rural prosperity, improves urban living, helps new businesses and communities. It has claimed leadership positions in utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership in India, and is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also has a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defense and two wheelers. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs more than 200,000 people across 100 countries.