M&M All Charged Up for a Hatch­back Drive

Auto co look­ing at range of cars in­clud­ing an elec­tric hatch­back

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire -

Ke­tan Thakkar & Ashutosh Shyam

Mum­bai: Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra, In­dia’s lead­ing SUV spe­cial­ist, is con­sid­er­ing its first ground-up hatch­back as part of its plan to have a range of cars to hold its own in the fiercely com­pet­i­tive Indian pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles mar­ket.

Mahin­dra may tap into the de­vel­op­ment ex­per­tise of Ital­ian de­sign house Pin­in­fa­rina to plan a hatch­back with elec­tric power train, and Ford for a mid­sized sedan, or it may even plan a mid-sized sedan on its own.

Hav­ing lost out to Maruti Suzuki in the util­ity ve­hi­cle space, the com­pany doesn’t want to sur­ren­der its first-mover ad­van­tage in the elec­tric ve­hi­cle (EV) space, with Maruti, Hyundai and Toy­ota eye­ing this emerg­ing space. Pawan Goenka, MD of Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra, told ET that the com­pany may de­velop a prod­uct, which will be fired by elec­tric and will be a hatch­back.

“For shared mo­bil­ity providers Ola and Uber, a small hatch­back makes good eco­nomic sense; it will have more pull in the seg­ment,” said Goenka. Maruti Suzuki and Toy­ota are likely to roll out their EVs from 2020; Hyundai Mo­tor In- dia too has an­nounced Smart EVs for emerg­ing mar­kets from In­dia in the next few years. Mahin­dra, as a leader in this space, does not want to lose any ter­ri­tory.

Mahin­dra will have to in­vest $110-$120 mil­lion on the project if it de­cides to go ahead with the hatch­back plans.

The com­pany is also de­lib­er­at­ing whether to go for an elec­tric Ver­ito sedan on its own which will call for an ad­di­tional in­vest­ment of ₹ 250-`300 crore, or to set­tle for a joint elec­tric car with Ford on the US car­maker’s Figo or As­pire ar­chi­tec­ture. This would take Mahin­dra’s cu­mu­la­tive in­vest­ment in EV to be­yond $250300 mil­lion which will go into elec­tri­fy­ing the SUVs, three- wheel­ers, cars and buses, in­clud­ing in­vest­ment in bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity and lo­cal­i­sa­tion of parts.

The com­pany will have a port­fo­lio of half a dozen ve­hi­cles to choose from: first off the block will be the elec­tric ver­sion of KUV, the small SUV- S110, which will be fol­lowed by an­other com­pact elec­tric SUV based on SsangY­ong plat­form called S210 On the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle front, it has launched the new three-wheel­ers at the re­cent Global Au­to­mo­bile Sum­mit — Move in the na­tional cap­i­tal which runs on elec­tric; Supro, a mini load car­rier; and a range of elec­tric buses.

Goenka admit­ted that sell­ing EVs in In­dia had been much tougher than Mahin­dra had imag­ined post the ac­qui­si­tion of Reva in 2010. Af­ter pur­su­ing the per­sonal ve­hi­cle space, the com­pany changed tack and has started fo­cus­ing on the com­mer­cial, or fleet ap­pli­ca­tion.

Pawan Goenka, MD, M&M

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.