Mahindra & Mahindra bets big on ICVs, invests Rs 700 crore in new product platforms

by Amit Panday , 26 Aug 2015

L-R: Nalin Mehta, CEO & MD, Mahindra Truck and Bus Division, M&M, and Rajan Wadhera, president & chief executive - Truck & Powertrain, M&M.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s (M&M) truck and bus division (MTBD), which today unveiled its first 49-tonne heavy commercial vehicle to mark the milestone of rolling out 15,000th HCV truck from its Chakan-based plant, has announced plans to foray into the intermediate and medium commercial vehicle segment in the near future.

The company that currently makes and sells CVs with gross vehicle weight (GVW) ranging between 3.5 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes (LCV category) and 25 tonnes to 49 tonnes (HCV category), now plans to fill in the gap by positioning multiple products in the 7.5- to 16-tonne category. According to company officials, M&M plans to infuse a fresh investment of Rs 700 crore that will encompass the development of new product platforms including a host of engineering requirements involving new powertrains, chassis, drivelines, cabins and other areas.

While multiple new ICV models are expected to spawn out of the three product platforms that the company is currently developing, company officials have confirmed that M&M has already started the process of investing the said amount (Rs 700 crore) a few months ago.

M&M aims to upgrade itself and become a complete CV player offering products ranging from 3.5 tonnes to 49 tonnes in the domestic market over the coming 2-3 years.

Talking to Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the event in Pune today, Nalin Mehta, managing director & CEO, MTBD, said: “We are developing three different platforms currently under the new product development for addressing the needs of the ICV segment. In the next three months’ time, we will be readying a prototype based on the 12-13 tonne ICV platform. Going forward, we will also come up with a 16-tonne prototype. We plan to develop a number of products between 8-16 tonne range.”

Mehta also said that the company is developing two all-new engines for the range of ICV products. “The ICVs will be powered by two all-new powertrains – a 4.8-litre engine (based on the underpinnings of the bigger, existing 7.2-litre engine), and a 3.5-litre engine. We will also use our existing 3.2-litre direct-injection powertrain for our upcoming ICV products,” he clarified.

Commercial production of the ICVs, beginning from the prototypes that the company aims to ready three months from now, is expected to start only two years later.

As regards the HCV segment, Mehta said that the company will begin rolling out the 49-tonne truck next month onwards.

Also present at the occasion, Rajan Wadhera, president and chief executive, truck and powertrain, and head – Mahindra Research Valley, M&M said: “The CV industry has seen an uptick over the last few quarters. The growth in the GDP is a direct correlation with the growth in the CV segment. Also, GST is coming which will boost the demand for CVs across the economy. It will also push the hub-and-spoke model, which will generate demand for LCVs too. We wish to be a complete and a serious player the CV segment.”

Also read: Exclusive interview with Nalin Mehta, MD & CEO, Mahindra Truck & Bus Division