M&M holds talks with potential investors in Mahindra Electric, seeks partner in Automobili Pininfarina too

by Sumantra B Barooah 07 Aug 2020

Mahindra & Mahindra, which has placed strong bets on electric mobility, is also scouting for partners for its electric vehicle (EV) businesses in India, and overseas.

M&M’s managing director Dr Pawan Goenka, who has earlier clearly stated the necessity for collaboration in the EV industry to primarily gain the critical scale, said, “We are engaged in discussions with multiple parties.” These discussions are regarding new investors in Mahindra Electric. He adds that there is a “lot of interest” among investors to invest in “gems” of the EV industry. M&M held its 74th annual general meeting today.

Automobili Pininfarina seeks partners
As the global collaboration trend grows, Automobili Pininfarina, M&M’s high-end EV business arm, is also seeking partners. “We are looking at strategic investment, not just financial investment,” said Dr Goenka.

The investment will be mainly for Automobili Pininfarina’s phase after its debut model, the Battista. The company is in the process of finalising plans for the second model project, which includes a new manufacturing plant. Dr Goenka says that the second model will be a lesser priced and, therefore, a higher volume model than the ‘halo’ model Battista, though not a mass volume model. The Battista is priced at over $2 million (around Rs 15 crore).

Automobili Pininfarina was launched in 2018, and the Battista was originally scheduled for launch during calendar year 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the launch now to the “end of FY2021”. The car’s first commercial production prototype was built around 10 days ago. “75 to 125 units” of the electric hypercar will be built. The Battista, which derives technology from Formula E, claims to deliver power that is nearly twice the power of a Formula 1 race car. What’s required for M&M now is the power to sustainably grow its EV businesses. A partnership or two could be key in providing that.       

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