In the month of April, we saw Ford and Mahindra forming a strategic alliance and both the companies will work together to introduce products for India as well as emerging markets. It is being speculated that 6 rebadged vehicles will be shared between the two brands and three exclusive models will be built for Ford, for sale in India and abroad. Starting 2020 the 9 vehicles will be built with a combined investment of USD 600 million where Ford is likely to contribute USD 200 million and the arrangement will be for the next 6 to 8 years with additional investments planned if required.
All the vehicles will be made by Mahindra and Mahindra with Ford changing the design and body type of the vehicle to avoid cannibalism. While the majority of investment is from Mahindra, Ford is likely to give Mahindra one of its underutilised manufacturing plants as the Indian arm of the American manufacturer has two plants, one in Sriperembudur and the other in Sanand. The plant has an annual capacity of 4.4 million units and only 2.7 million are being built.
From the past seven decades, Mahindra has led the utilitarian vehicle market, while Ford has been in business in India since 1995 and is one of the largest exporters of cars from the country and the brand is likely to export most of the products sourced from Mahindra. Out of the 2.7 million vehicles that Ford produces in India, 1.8 million units are exported.
The two together are expected to bring the manufacturing cost down and the companies will learn from each other as both of them work on different work models, where Mahindra has a low-cost manufacturing model, whereas Ford has a more expensive manufacturing model.
Both manufacturers have already signed an agreement to develop and C-SUV together and will also be sharing platform and powertrains, they have also announced earlier a joint development of a telematics control unit, which is expected to be used in cars with connected technologies, that the brands are likely to develop in the near future.