After giving the breaking news about the possible JV with Ford India not happening, Mahindra and Mahindra held a virtual press conference. Through this conference, Mahindra officials detailed the future product line-up as well as spoke at length about the failed JV and rescuing SsangYong. The panel included senior management personnel like Pawan Goenka, Anish Shah, and Rajesh Jejurikar. On the deal with SsangYong, Mahindra is in talks with an investor. The terms and conditions paper will most likely be signed next week. This undisclosed investor will hold the majority stake while Mahindra will be the minority one. If for some reason, these talks fail then SsangYong will have to be under the control of the bank. Mahindra says that all SsangYong-derived products in their portfolio will be the intellectual property of the Indian carmaker irrespective of the health of the Korean company. Mahindra holds the IP for all such products like the XUV300 as well as the Alturas G4.
There are new products in the Mahindra portfolio that will be launched this year. These include the all-new Mahindra W601 as well as W605. These translate to the all-new Mahindra XUV500 as well as the Scorpio respectively. The company officials confirmed that the XUV will be launched earlier whereas the Scorpio is in an advanced stage of development. Both will have new platforms as well as engines. While it is unclear yet, given the success of the new Thar, there could be petrol/diesel along with manual/automatic powertrains on offer with both the SUVs.
Speaking of the new Mahindra Thar, the company claims that it has received more than 6,500 bookings for the SUV in December. This despite having a higher waiting period of nearly eight months. Mahindra says that the product has been received quite well by the masses, with a 50 per cent booking for the automatic versions. The company is betting big on its SUV DNA and we could also see the facelifted Mahindra XUV300 as well as the Bolero this year.
While the JV between Ford and Mahindra has been called off, the latter says that projects both have been pursuing together are very much on. For example, for the upcoming new EcoSport, Mahindra will supply its 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine. The launch is expected to happen within a year. There is another C-segment SUV that Ford is developing and which is modeled on the XUV500. This C757 codenamed SUV will be launched likely by mid-2022. Ford and Mahindra also have ongoing partnerships in the realm of connectivity whereas the ambitious project of the Ford Aspire electric has been put on hold. Anish Shah, group chief financial officer, Mahindra and Mahindra, confirmed that the capital required was larger than what they thought and hence it became economically unfeasible.
Economic feasibility is deemed as the case wherein the JV between Ford-Mahindra didn’t work out for both. This being said, Mahindra is on the lookout for other joint venture partners. Ford India is yet to announce its future plans apart from saying that it will continue independently.
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