because the global players are at your doorstep. You need to access the sources of knowledge that global companies are able to do. There are certain large markets where we have to make large bets,” he said.
M&M currently sells a variety of its models like the Scorpio (sold as the Goa), a Scorpio-based pick-up and the XUV500 in Europe — in fact, the XUV500 was the first product developed with a global audience in mind. The company also exports to Australia, South America and African markets. Though its primary manufacturing plants are in India, it has assembly plants in Brazil, Tunisia and Egypt and is reported to be looking at more such assembly operations in Southeast Asia and Africa. For its tractor business, M&M has two joint ventures in China, four plants in the US and one each in Australia, Chad and Mali.
It also controls South Korean SUV specialist Ssangyong, a brand that has progressively done well after M&M acquired it in 2011. Ssangyong, which recorded highest-ever sales since 2005 this October at 14,244 units, has already seen overall volumes rise 21% to 1.04 lakh units between January and September 2013. It also reported its first quarterly profit after six years in the second quarter of the current fiscal of 6.2 billion won (Rs 36.6 crore), following up with another profit of 1.5 billion won (Rs 8.8 crore) in the third quarter.
At home, M&M has had a good run this fiscal on the back of strong tractors sales, though diesel-powered UV volumes declined — M&M’s profits in the second quarter went up 10% to Rs 990 crore. The company is restructuring the rest some of its loss-making auto subsidiaries (two-wheelers and commercial vehicles) with a view to turning them around through cost savings on the back of group synergies.