Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb 17

MAHINDRA & Mahindra (M&M) is charting out an aggressive expansion strategy for the European markets.

Through Mahindra Europe Srl (MESRL), its European arm, it is planning to launch new vehicles in the region as well as expand its distribution network.

According to Mr Pravin N. Shah, Executive Vice-President (Overseas Operations), Automotive Sector, the company would be launching pick-up vehicles on the Scorpio platform - including a lifestyle variant - in Europe soon.

It is also set to launch the Mahindra Classic in Europe under the name, Mahindra Thar.

"We do foresee sales for the Mahindra Classic as there is demand in Europe for vehicles with a classic, retro look. This would also aid in our brand building efforts," said Mr Angelo Molfetta, Managing Director of MESRL.

M&M already sells the Mahindra Scorpio in Europe as the Mahindra Goa. "We expect to get sales volume of 4,000-5,000 units a year in Europe in about 2-3 years," Mr Shah said.

MESRL will also expand its distribution network to more countries in Europe over the next year.

It would be launching vehicles in Spain next month through 16 dealerships.

"Further, we would like to expand to the Balkan region, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Finland," said Mr Molfetta.

M&M vehicles are already being sold in France and Italy.

Meanwhile, in order to fund its expansion plans MESRL has entered into a tie-up with Exim Bank to avail of credit facilities.

The initial credit is worth $3.5 million, which can subsequently increase according to business requirements.

MESRL is an 80:20 joint venture between M&M and its local partners based in Italy. The company imports, adapts, and distributes the M&M range of utility vehicles in Europe.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 18, 2006)
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