Ford and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra on Thursday signed an agreement that will see the two companies working together to develop midsize and compact SUVs and an electric vehicle. This isn’t the first time such an alliance has been spoken about as Ford and Mahindra, which is one of India’s oldest vehicle manufacturers, had previously announced plans last September for a strategic alliance. However, the agreement is now signed so work can now finally get underway.
Mahindra is probably best known as a manufacturer of trucks, tractors and EVs, and in the past it has tried and largely failed to sell its products into the lucrative American market, although a notable exception came in the form of the Jeep CJ copycat, the Roxor.
The midsize SUV when it’s finished is to be sold independently by both companies under separate brands, and from there the two companies will work together to produce a compact SUV and an all-electric vehicle. It seems logical from the Ford point of view that a tie-up with a company like Mahindra could help it increase its share of the growing and potentially extremely lucrative Indian market, but there could be other export opportunities for the fruits of this new partnership in the future.
Late last year, Mahindra opened a new headquarters near Detroit because it wants to sell EVs in the American market. The company also owns the Ssangyong brand that hasn’t yet made it to America, but its current range of small CUVs sold elsewhere in the world could potentially provide platforms that could be utilized for the co-developed product.
At the press conference to announce the partnership the two companies stated that the agreement covers a period of up to three years, and it will include helping support Mahindra in some of the world’s emerging markets.
Models like the Quanto and KUV100 that Mahindra already produces are the kind of small, car-like vehicles that are much more popular in emerging markets than generally more expensive pickup-based SUVs. Speaking of the agreement, the two companies said: “The strategic alliance continues to focus on leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale in India and its successful operating model.” – AFP Relaxnews