Ford-Mahindra joint venture is aimed at mutual benefits for both the brands as three new Ford UVs have been confirmed to arrive
Ford and Mahindra have embarked on a new joint venture with the former having 49 per cent control stake and the latter the remaining 51 per cent. Under the JV, Ford will be transferring its working personnel, Sanand and Chennai plants to Mahindra while retaining the engine base in Sanand along with a few other operations.
The auto giants made their intentions clear in collaborating across various fields more than two years ago and such is the scenario of the automotive industry as even arch rivals are coming together globally for the betterment of their futures by leveraging each other’s strengths in sourcing, development and manufacturing for greater economies of scale.
Ford has certainly gone back to its roots with the new JV as the relationship with Mahindra is not something we are not seeing for the first time. The American brand has been around in India for more than two decades with modest success when compared to the relatively newer companies and thus the JV holds a lot of potential into the near future.
The JV valued at nearly Rs. 2,000 crore is subjected to regulatory approvals and will come into effect by the middle of next year. Besides supporting Ford for its domestic growth, Mahindra will play an integral role in bringing in three new Ford utility vehicles. The mid-size SUV takes the spotlight here as it will more likely arrive next year.
The mid-size SUV segment is all the rage in recent times with competitors like MG Hector and Kia Seltos setting the bars up higher. The success of EcoSport and the brand image could serve the purpose for Ford in this regard as the mid-size SUV is expected to have several commonalities with Mahindra’s next generation XUV500 bound for late 2020.
A slightly bigger SUV with seven-seater layout could serve the purpose for Ford capitalising on Mahindra’s local manufacturing prowess and it could go up against Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson and the likes. Despite sharing underpinnings, the Ford and Mahindra SUVs will have distinctive characters on their own as they won’t be a mere badge engineering work.