Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company have taken the next step in strengthening their ongoing strategic alliance in India with a definitive agreement to co-develop a midsize sports utility vehicle (SUV). Under the new agreement, Mahindra and Ford will work together to introduce a benchmark product for India and emerging markets.
The new agreement reinforces the progress made since the announcement of the strategic alliance between the two companies in September 2017, followed by an announcement on powertrain sharing and connected car solutions in March 2018.
Mahindra and Ford deepened the scope of their partnership by announcing the co-development of a midsize C-segment SUV for which M&M will provide the platform and powertrain. The new SUV will be based on the platform underpinning the next-generation Mahindra XUV500 (codename: W601). Though Ford will share the mechanicals and powertrain, it will not be a mere badge-engineering exercise.
The Ford C-SUV will have an all-new exterior, a new interior, a slightly improved chassis and its ride and handling will be true to Ford's DNA. The Ford SUV will be built on the same line as the next-gen XUV500 in Mahindra’s Chakan plant. Powering the W601 will be Mahindra's new-generation, state-of-the-art, 2.0-litre diesel that’s expected to develop up to a whopping 180hp. This BS-VI-compliant engine will be shared with Ford's C-SUV as well.
Commenting on the new announcement, Dr Pawan Goenka, managing director, M&M, said, “I am happy with the significant progress we have made and synergies we have created since the announcement of our strategic alliance with Ford in 2017. Today’s announcement is another significant step in the collaboration between our two companies. Having identified several areas for joint development, both companies will continue to work together to develop products using common product platforms. This will reduce product development costs and gain economies of scale for both companies.”
“With today’s announcement, we not only strengthen our ongoing partnership with Mahindra but also sharpen our competitiveness in an important emerging market like India,” said Jim Farley, president of Ford New Businesses, Technology & Strategy. “Ford’s technological leadership combined with Mahindra’s successful operating model and product prowess will surely help us deliver a vehicle that will meet the expectations of customers in India as well as other emerging markets.”
The strategic alliance between the two companies is focused on leveraging the benefits of both companies -- Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale and successful operating model in India. Teams from both companies continue to collaborate on all areas of mutual interest including electrification, distribution and product development.
On October 17, 2018, Ford signed an agreement with the Mahindra Group to develop and supply a low-displacement petrol engine for use in Ford’s present and future vehicles, beginning in 2020. Mahindra and Ford also announced joint development of a telematics control unit.