Homegrown auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is looking for strategic partners for its electric vehicles business in order to further scale it up as confirmed by a top company official. Mahindra and Mahindra Group’s Managing Director Pawan Goenka has said that the company is finalising investment plans for its Automobili Pininfarina unit.
The auto major, which reported a 94 percent decline in consolidated profit at Rs 54.64 crore for the June quarter, also said there is no impact of COVID-19 on its EV launch plans. The automaker wants to be a key player in mass-market electric vehicles (EVs) through its unit Mahindra Electric and in the high-end segment through Europe-based Pininfarina, which is building an electric hypercar Battista, Goenka said.
The automaker has invested significant capital in the segment and that gives it the confidence to find partners, Goenka told reporters in a conference call. To a query on whether it was open to partnerships in the EV business, Goenka said that they are open to it and working towards it. He further added that the company is currently engaged with multiple interested parties to invest in Mahindra Electric and that the process is going on.
Adding to the discussion he said, “We have invested in Bangalore, and just completed investing in Chakan for a high range of batteries. We are fairly well invested and that gives us an advantage in India which would be driving growth in the segment going ahead.” He said the company has many products on the ground and there are new launches planned over the next 12 months as well.
He said M&M is keen on becoming a significant player in the EV space with Mahindra Electric on one side and its Italy-based arm Automobili Pininfarina (APF) with its high-end models on the other end. Goenka said M&M is also evaluating to further extend the APF product portfolio going ahead. The launch of the first super sports car from the APF stable, Battista, which was to happen this year, has now been moved to next year due to the COVID-19 scenario.
Mahindra & Mahindra said in June that it was evaluating all its businesses and would continue to invest only in those where it sees a strategic advantage or can get an 18% return. It has said that EVs are strategic to the company’s growth. As part of this evaluation, Mahindra has also decided not to proceed with the bid made by its North American unit to supply vehicles to the U.S. Postal Service, group CFO Anish Shah told the same press conference, conducted online.
Plans For SsangYong Motor
M&M also said it is seeking investors for its Korean arm SsangYong Motor Company (SYMC). The M&M board had decided on April 3 this year that the company will not make any further investment in SYMC other than USD 32 million to help the Korean firm tide over the immediate fund requirements.
Upcoming EVs in India from Mahindra
Apart from developing high-end EVs under the partnership with Automobili Pininfarina, Mahindra has been planning the launch of a couple of fully electric cars for the passenger segment India. These include the eKUV100 and the XUV300 EV both of which were showcased at the AutoExpo 2020 held earlier this year. The eKUV100 was initially supposed to be launched later this year but seeing the current situation of the ongoing pandemic, the makers might very well defer the launch to next year.