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FCA Aims to Ban India’s Mahindra Over Jeep Look-Alike

Case going before International Trade Commission.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.03, 2018

Mahindra is ramping up U.S. production of its Roxor SUV, which Fiat Chrysler is attempting to block.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wants the International Trade Commission to block Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. from selling its Roxor model through the new U.S. dealership its setting up because the SUV looks too much like a Jeep.

It’s the latest in a series of battles Detroit automakers have faced, many of them in China, as they try to prevent emerging competitors from marketing knock-offs and, in some cases, even using nearly identical model and brand names.

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In the case of the Roxor, FCA’s complaint to the Trade Commissions alleges the Indian SUV is “a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design,” as was ‘modeled after the original Willys Jeep.” (more…)

Ford and Mahindra Teaming Up on New SUVs and an EV

Partnership focuses on India but could target “other markets.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.23, 2018

Even as Ford and Mahindra lay out plans for the Indian market, Mahindra is ramping up U.S. production of its Roxor SUV.

After agreeing to form a strategic alliance last year, Ford and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra now plan to jointly develop at least two new sport-utility vehicles, as well as an electric vehicle.

The two manufacturers say they will initially target the fast-growing Indian market where Ford has been trying to expand its presence. But they eventually may look at opportunities in “other markets,” according to a source in the U.S.

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“Today’s announcement is the next step in the collaboration between Mahindra and Ford,” said 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.”

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India’s Mahindra Opens Off-Road Vehicle Plant Near Detroit

A U.S. auto plant could be next "logical step."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.21, 2017

A crowd gathers by the obligatory ceremonies at the new Mahindra plant just outside Detroit.

Mahindra Automotive North America has set up an off-road vehicle assembly line in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills – a move that soon could be followed by the Indian manufacturer’s entry into the U.S. automotive market.

The subsidiary of Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra has been promising to set up shop in the States for more than a decade, going as far as lining up a dealer network before pulling back. The 150,000-square-foot facility is located not far from the headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and scores of automotive suppliers, and it becomes the first new auto plant in the Detroit region in a quarter century.

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Mahindra didn’t reveal the vehicle it plans to build at a news conference Wednesday, but Group Chairman Anand Mahindra told reporters it “will take us into a whole different orbit.” He also hinted at future plans. “I think a very logical step after that would be to get on-road.”

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Mahindra Readying to Build New Plant Near Detroit

Facility likely to build off-road vehicles, maybe small pickups.

by Michael Strong on Nov.07, 2017

Mahindra & Mahindra's first entry into the U.S. was thought to be this pickup. With a new plant coming to metro Detroit, it may be again.

A new 400,000 square-foot automotive plant is going to be built in the shadow of Fiat Chrysler’s North American headquarters north of Detroit — by Mahindra & Mahindra.

The plant will be the first new auto plant in metro Detroit in 25 years, according to media reports. The company hasn’t issued any statements on what will be built at the new facility, but last month U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted that Mahindra plans to build off-road utility vehicles in the plant, The Times of India reported.

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Once completed it will join the 250,000 square-foot warehouse the company built in nearby Pontiac last year. (more…)

Ford, Mahindra Team Up in India, Eye Other Emerging Markets

Move follows GM’s decision to abandon Indian market.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.18, 2017

For the 2018 model year, Ford's smallest SUV, the EcoSport, gets a facelift just in time for its U.S. debut. The small ute is built in India and shipped to the U.S.

Just months after General Motors decided to pull out of the Indian automotive market Ford Motor Co. is hoping to kick-start its struggling operations there by teaming up with local pickup and SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra.

The strategic alliance marks the second time Ford and Mahindra have tried to team up. They ended a three-year venture focused on producing small sedans in 2005. The new partnership could prove critical for Ford, which had been considering exiting India despite the fact that many analysts believe the market could eventually be nearly as large as China’s.

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“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets. (more…)

Indians Ready to Enter U.S. Market – Through South Korea

Mahindra using Ssangyong to access U.S. market.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.11, 2016

Ssangyong plans to enter the U.S. with a smaller model in addition to something similar to the new Tivoli Air.

The sport-utility vehicle market is about to get a bit more crowded with a new model, and the new entry into the segment will mark the first product from an Indian automaker to reach the U.S.

More accurately, it will mark the debut of Ssangyong, the South Korean automaker owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra. Both have long targeted – and repeatedly delayed plans to enter – the American automotive market.

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Whether they’ll pull things off this time remains to be seen, but in an interview with trade magazine Automotive News, Ssangyong CEO Choi Johng-sik said the goal is to be here by 2020 with two small utes. (more…)

Mahindra USA Lands in Metro Detroit

Company opening engineering center, manufacturing plant.

by Joseph Szczesny on May.13, 2014

Mahindra officials announce the opening of two new facilities in metro Detroit: a technical center in Troy and a plant in Ann Arbor.

Indian manufacturing conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra has landed in the U.S., specifically just outside of Detroit. The Mumbai-based company is opening an engineering center and a manufacturing plant at locations near Detroit.

Mahindra USA Inc. has settled on Troy, Michigan, as the site for a new research and development center expected to house more than 100 engineers, technicians and support staff. Mahindra also plans to assemble electric motor bikes, the Mahindra GenZe, at a new but separate manufacturing center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which will have 34 employees.

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“Michigan provided us the perfect eco-system to step up our U.S. presence. We were able to draw on the terrific automotive engineering and manufacturing talent available in the state to create industry leading initiatives for the United States,” said Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, during a visit to the Detroit area. (more…)

Turkish, Indian Automakes Studying Saab Rescue

“Something could happen this month,” says Saab source.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.02, 2012

At least two potential buyers are reportedly looking to take over bankrupt Saab.

Could it really turn out to be a “Happy New Year” for Saab?  Barely two weeks after finally filing for bankruptcy, a move most had expected would result in the liquidation of the long-struggling Swedish automaker, Saab could find salvation in the form of investors from either Turkey or India, industry insiders and company officials reveal.

A report out of Europe suggests an unidentified Turkish entity – which apparently has the support of that country’s government – is interested in purchasing Saab’s assets.  So is Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the two largest Indian national automotive companies.

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Details remain sketchy, but a senior Saab official tells TheDetroitBureau.com that “something could happen this month.” In fact, he added, a revival of the now-bankrupt automaker would have to be put in place this month or the bankruptcy process might make it impossible to put all the pieces back together again.

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Mahindra Disavows Plans for Alabama Pickup Plant

American debut appears to be on indefinite hold.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.22, 2011

Mahindra's long-planned U.S. launch of the Pik-Up has been delayed repeatedly.

Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra has dismissed, in no uncertain terms, reports it is preparing to build pickup trucks in Alabama with help from Navistar.

The maker recently postponed plans to launch sales of both a pickup and an SUV model, terminating its relationship with an American distributor.  But there has been widespread speculation Mahindra would now try to go it alone and even shift production of the compact truck to the States, hoping to take advantage of the decision by both Ford and Chrysler to pull out of that market segment.

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“There have been reports in certain quarters of media and online space stating that Navistar USA will produce Mahindra’s T20 and T40 pickups in Alabama, USA in 2012, which are completely baseless & incorrect. Mahindra said in statement. “If and when there are any material developments, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited will communicate them directly and transparently.”

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Mahindra’s Bid To Enter U.S. Market Unraveling

Feud with erstwhile distributor deepening.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.20, 2010

Will Mahindra's Pik-Up ever make it to the U.S. market?

The feud over Mahindra & Mahindra’s bid to sell vehicles in the U.S. is apparently deepening – and threatening to scuttle or at least delay its long-awaited launch in the American market.

Global Vehicles USA Inc., which considers itself the exclusive U.S. distributor of Mahindra pickup trucks, called on India-based Mahindra & Mahindra to begin building vehicles for sale in the United States and commit to a launch date.

But there’s a growing likelihood that any decision over who will actually represent the Indian maker in the American market will have to be decided in court.

A firm launch date would bring the Indian-based vehicle builder back into compliance with the arbitration clause of the distribution agreement between the two companies Global Vehicles said in a statement.

“Nearly 350 dealers have been ready to sell Mahindra trucks for more than three years,” said John Perez, chief executive officer of Global Vehicles.

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“If Mahindra executives were being truthful when they said that the trucks would be on sale by the end of the year, they should honor that commitment so dealers can start earning back the tens of millions of dollars they have invested in the brand.

“Binding arbitration will decide if Mahindra lied to Global Vehicles and our dealers about the status of the trucks and whether they broke the law when they attempted to arbitrarily terminate our distribution contract,” Perez added. “In the meantime, Mahindra is legally – and morally – obligated to conduct business as usual,” the statement said.

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