Ford Motor Company and Mahindra Group are in the opening stages of a possible long-term strategic alliance. Both companies would benefit from each other’s experience and expertise, in particular Ford’s global reach and Mahindra’s operational model in India.
“The agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry,” reads a joint statement from Ford and Mahindra.
The collaboration will run for three years and examine a multitude of opportunities for both companies, including mobility programs, connected vehicle initiatives, and electrification strategies. The partnership will also explore sourcing and commercial efficiencies, plus product development in general. Ford hopes to gain traction in India, an emerging automotive market.
“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” said Jim Farley, Ford Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets.
Farley unscored the importance of the collaboration and believes working with Mahindra will help Ford capitalize on the forthcoming changes in the automotive industry.
“Our two companies have a long history of cooperation and mutual respect,” he said. “The enormous growth potential in the utility market and the growing importance of mobility and affordable battery electric vehicles are all aligned with our strategic priorities.”
Ford entered India in 1995 and remains as one of the country’s largest exporters. Ford manufactures and exports vehicles and engines from facilities in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. 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 Coimbatore.
As Ford is looking to expand in India, Mahindra wants additional traction outside the country. Mahindra has topped the utility vehicles segment in India for the last 70 years, and continues as a leader in clean, affordable transportation. Currently, Mahindra is the only manufacturer with a full line of electric vehicles in India, but the company believes such a portfolio is necessary today.
“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 and Mahindra Ltd.
Mahindra has already extended their global footprint as majority owners in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea. To meet the needs of future automotive customers, Mahindra has invested in ride sharing platforms in the United States and the development of GenZe, the world’s first electric connected scooter.
“Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives, and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities,” Dr. Goenka added.
At the end of the initial three year collaboration, Ford and Mahinda will then determine if the partnership is to continue.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.