To cater to the world's largest utility vehicle, pick up market

Mayur N. Shah

Venturing ahead

The company

is likely to start working the US in 2008.

It has

distribution tie-ups in Kenya and Spain with assembly lines across Malaysia, Russia and Egypt being in the pipeline

Mumbai, Nov. 7

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) plans to launch its flagship model, Scorpio SUV and double cab pick up in the US, thus catering to the world's largest utility vehicle and pick up market.

It has signed a contract with Global Vehicles, USA, for distribution of its range of vehicles in the country. The company is likely to start on the job in 2008, said senior company officials, though the company spokesperson did not wish to comment.

M&M's entry into the largest world market for utility vehicles is in line with its corporate mantra `If you can compete globally, you can survive at home'. The company has distribution tie-ups in Kenya and Spain with assembly lines across Malaysia, Russiaand Egypt being in the pipeline.

In Egypt, the local partner, Bavarian Auto Trading Company, will be the investor in the assembly unit to make Scorpio and Bolero models and pick-ups. Bavarian will be responsible for the distribution and after-sales service of Mahindra vehicles in Egypt.

In South Africa, the company has its own manufacturing plant for utility vehicles. Around $120 million was invested in basic manufacturing facilities with an additional $8 million spent with the launch of the new Scorpio model.

Currently, it has 30 dealerships to sell its range of utility vehicles across the country, while Berco has been appointed the logistics and distribution company for vehicles and spare parts across its chain of dealerships.

Other markets

In tandem, the tractor division has almost entered four prominent tractor markets (Iran, India, China and the US). The company had its presence in the US since 1994 with two assembly plants and annual sales of 10,000 units, said senior officials. Recently, the company sewed up a strategic alliance with ITMCo, Iran. The local partner in Iran is also the largest manufacturer of tractors in the country with an 80 per cent market share. In China, M&M has 80 per cent equity stake in Jiangling Tractor Company.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 8, 2006)
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