The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a major toll on all the businesses across the country and the automotive industry has been no different. While many automotive companies have had to rejig their plans for the future in terms of new products, the Ford-Mahindra joint venture (JV) seems to be heading forward.
However, due to this pandemic, the launch of their new product under this collaboration surely seems to have delayed. The new JV in which Mahindra owns 51% share will bring under its umbrella Ford India Pvt Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. This means Ford will transfer its personnel and facilities (Chennai and Sanand units) to the JV.
Details about the JV
As per reports, the Ford-Mahindra JV will export ford branded models to several off-shore markets. This is in correlation with the Blue Oval’s strong image internationally and the strong presence of Mahindra in the Indian market. As per the agreement signed by the two companies, in the new joint venture, Mahindra will own the controlling stake of 51 percent, while Ford will own 49 percent. The companies will have a 50-50 representation on the board, with a Mahindra elected Chairman. Also, the American automaker will continue to own the rights to the Ford brand in India and will continue to distribute its products through its existing dealer network.
The first project under the joint venture is the next-generation Mahindra XUV500 which will share its platform with a new Ford SUV. Though these products are to be manufactured alongside, we expect them to wear completely different outfits and interiors. Apart from this, there will be two more products coming out of this partnership, with platforms and powertrains shared between the two automakers.
One of them is supposed to be a C-segment SUV placed beneath the XUV500 and rivaling the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. The SUV, for long, has been rumoured to be named as ‘XUV400’ from Mahindra’s side. As things stand right now, there is hardly any possibility of these products seeing the light of the day anytime this year.
The JV will be responsible for growing the Ford brand in the country as well as increase its export markets. As of now, Ford’s installed capacity at both its facilities in India, are not being utilised to its full potential. The makers believe that the launch of new products and aggressive exports are the solutions to this issue. The Ford badged products are expected to lead the export side of business whereas Mahindra will largely focus on the domestic market. Mahindra branded models will also be exported, however, they will only target the markets in which the brand already has a decent presence such as South Africa, parts of North Africa, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and so on.