Mahindra Eyes US Production

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

As Mahindra inches closer to a US market launch, we’re hearing that the Indian firm is looking for US production capacity to avoid an import penalty. Automotive News [sub] reports that Mahindra’s pickup will go on sale “in phases” starting in early 2010, while the Scorpio SUV (shown here) will roll out about a year later. As for US production, Mahindra’s Executivev VP For International Operations Previn Shah says that he’s “exploring various options,” but that purchasing an existing factory makes the most sense. Do we smell a white knight for NUMMI?

Mahindra hopes that the US will eventually become its major export market, but that may still not be enough to justify a factory the size of NUMMI. Mahindra’s exports to Europe, Africa and South America totaled only 9,000 units in the year ending March 2009, down from 13,000 the year before. NUMMI’s capacity is some 400,000 units annually. Shah expects Mahindra’s numbers to pick up, saying “we have found sweet spots for ourselves.” Still, cheap diesel pickups demand will have to blow up before it will need anywhere near that capacity. On the other hand, GM’s Shreveport plant will be empty soon, if Mahindra thinks US production could approach Colorado/Canyon territory. With GM apparently abandoning the compact pickup market and Ford refusing to significantly update its Ranger, Mahindra’s $100 million gamble on US sales might just stand a chance.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Aug 28, 2009

    Looking at the lighter side of this... I just like saying the name "Mahindra!" Loudly. Macholy. Like that? I just made it up! But really, try it once. Say it with a booming voice. MA-HINDra! Didn't they used to be called "Mahindra and Mahindra?" Wow, two for the price of one. Too bad they went on sale for half-off...

  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 29, 2009

    I wonder where Mahindra is going to get a diesel engine capable of meeting 50 state emissions requirements.

  • Rix Rix on Aug 30, 2009

    I would not rule out NUMMI for three reasons: 1. They wouldnt need to take all of the site, just a bit of it. 2. This area has one of the very largest Indian populations in the US. Think eight screen movie theater showing Bollywood movies. 3. Senator Boxer will be in a very tough re-election fight next year and needs a win to trumpet. Government cash will therefore flow.

  • Tata Tata on Sep 05, 2009

    With a large population of Sikh and Hindus the NUMMI location, after closed for three or so months, may work with out a union and a good wage.