Ford and Mahindra have today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop two new SUVs.
While that may not seem like such interesting news, having a large American and Indian company working together is quite groundbreaking.
Not just because there will be both a compact SUV and medium SUV to be developed jointly by the two companies, but because this will be the first time there has been collaboration on a small electric vehicle as well.
Ford wants a bigger presence in India, and Mahindra needs Ford’s electronic and infotainment architecture, so the synergy makes a lot of sense.
In fact the press release noted that the partnership is to “focus on leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale in India and its successful operating model.”
“Ford is committed to offering the best vehicles, technologies and services that fit the lifestyles and preferences of Indian consumers,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets. “Listening to our customers and incorporating their future needs is the core premise of this collaboration. With utility vehicles and electrification as key focus areas, we are glad to see the progress our two companies have made.”
The medium SUV is said to be built on one of Mahindra’s platforms, but will be sold independently by the two brands. Whether this means a simple rebadge or an entirely new body remains to be seen.
The other interesting part is the fact that Mahindra will supply more than just a platform.
The press release said that “the supply of Mahindra powertrains to extend Ford’s product range” is also part of the agreement.
“Today’s announcement is the next step in the collaboration between Mahindra and Ford,” said Dr Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “Both teams are working together on joint development areas in keeping with industry requirements and leveraging mutual strengths. We are excited about the synergies unveiled through this collaboration and the potential opportunities it will bring.”
Also part of the MoU is a plan to jointly develop a suite of connected car solutions, bringing Mahindra’s in-car experience up to date, something that has been a bit behind the times.
The agreement is in effect for the next three years, so while it will take some time for the cars to come to market, we can expect to start seeing the results of the partnership sometime around 2020.