A recent rumour doing the rounds on the internet hints that Mahindra and Ford are jointly developing 9 SUVs for the Indian as well as nearby international markets. The Mahindra team will let Ford keep 3 exclusive SUVs while remaining six will be badge-engineered versions of each other.
This brings the total count down to six as development cost will be seen on these only. However, like Maruti Baleno and Toyota Glanza, the three cars will only see changes in the monikers. The development will include both compact and full-size SUVs, with total investment counting $600 million in a phased manner.
The investment period is not mentioned anywhere by both the brands while they have confirmed that the amount can change (increase actually) with the need of the time. The powerful partnership will bring all these cars in the next 6-8 year period, clearing that they are in no mood of flooding the market with SUVs suddenly.
However, the long period and upcoming norms may mean that electric SUVs are also under consideration by the Mahindra-Ford JV. The new SUVs that are to be built from 2020 will see Ford’s own facility as the home, with Mahindra managing all the operations for better efficiency.
Ford has always complained regarding the efficiency problem at their manufacturing plant as the production was always under the benchmark that could have been achieved from that unit. Ford is likely to pump $200 million out of this number and the rest of the amount will arrive from Mahindra.
It seems like the production and development will be done by keeping in mind the number of units sold on average by both the brands. The joint venture will first focus on compact and midsize products as both of these are the highest selling and highly profitable options in the Indian market.