Ford Motor Company and the Mahindra Group have signed five agreements to develop new SUVs and small electric vehicles. Ford and Mahindra announced their strategic partnership in September of 2017, saying both companies were focusing on mobility programs, connected vehicle initiatives, and electrification strategies. The partnership will also explore sourcing and commercial efficiencies, and product development in general. Ford hopes to gain traction in India as well, an emerging automotive market.
“Ford is committed to offering the best vehicles, technologies, and services that fit the lifestyles and preferences of Indian consumers,” said Jim Farley, Ford Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets.
Under these latest initiatives, Mahindra and Ford will co-develop a midsize SUV both companies can sell independently as separate brands. The forthcoming SUV will be built on a Mahindra platform but both will explore sharing powertrain portfolios. The two companies will also examine the possibility of developing a compact SUV and an electric vehicle, along with a range of connected car technologies.
“Listening to our customers and incorporating their future needs is the core premise of this collaboration,” Farley added. “With utility vehicles and electrification as key focus areas, we are glad to see the progress our two companies have made.”
Overall, the strategic alliance will leverage Ford’s global reach and Mahindra’s scale in India. Ford entered India in 1995 and remains one of the country’s largest exporters. India is also the second-largest Ford employee base globally, with more than 14,000 working across the Ford India or Global Business Services operations in New Delhi, Chennai, and Coimbator. Likewise, Mahindra has lead the utility vehicles segment in India for seven decades. The Mumbai-based manufacturer owns a majority stake in the Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea, and has invested in ridesharing platforms in the United States.
“Both teams are working together on joint development areas in keeping with industry requirements and leveraging mutual strengths,” explained Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “We are excited about the synergies unveiled through this collaboration and the potential opportunities it will bring.”