Mahindra Seeking Alliances With Global Players

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Despite its struggles in its native market — and, perhaps, because of said struggles — Mahindra & Mahindra is seeking to build alliances with a trio of automakers to develop its global presence.

The Economic Times reports M&M is joining up with its South Korean brand Ssangyong Motor in their entries into Russia and China as part of a “coordinated global branding strategy” between the parent company’s two brands. The United States — where Mahindra has had a difficult time selling more than tractors — and Europe — where Ssangyong lost some of its footing prior to M&M’s purchase in 2011 — are also on the radar.

Speaking of Europe, M&M is in alliance talks with both PSA Peugeot Citroën and SAAB AB as far as branding and technology-sharing are concerned. Regarding the former, Mahindra is interested in PSA’s diesel- and compressed air-hybrid technology, with the aim of jumping “into the future generation,” according to French analyst Gautam Sen. In turn, PSA could piggyback on Mahindra into the Indian market it had abandoned in the 1990s. The company attempted to return in 2011 by breaking ground on a new factory in Sanand, only to be undermined by financial difficulties.

As for SAAB, Sen says Mahindra would like to acquire the Saab brand and resurrect it as another way to enter markets in Europe and the U.S. The strategy would involve rebranding and redesigning Mahindra and Ssangyong products into Saabs, but only if “quality and design can come up to the expectations of the typically discerning Saab enthusiast.” That said, he adds that relaunching the Saab brand would be easier said than done, as both Spyker and National Electric Vehicle Sweden can attest.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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6 of 12 comments
  • 87 Morgan 87 Morgan on Sep 09, 2014

    M&M as a rebadged Saab? Nah, not today. I could be wrong, as I often am, but I don't recall Saab ever having a pick up and the Saab SUV was a rebadged Chevy. As much as I would like to see a simple third world style pick up, the no frills version with a heater and a key, I don't think it will sell with a Saab badge on the front.

  • Kourt Kourt on Sep 09, 2014

    "according to French analyst Gautam Sen" Clearly an expert in all things Gallic. Unless you've experienced it, it's hard to comprehend how intensely the French celebrate Saint Gautam's Day.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 09, 2014

    There is so much hilarity in these ideas. M&M (struggling in home market) paired with Ssangyong (struggling in home market). Even Koreans don't really want Ssangyongs. They would rather have a Hyundai/Kia/Daewoo-Chev/Samsung. The company has had labor issues and strikes in the past few years, etc. Just not doing well. Oh and they might also join with PSA (struggling in all of Europe) or Saab (deceased). We don't need no M&M's here unless they are of the peanut variety. Even though I like the G-Wagen styling on the Bolero (but grille needs fixed).

    • Mr.cranky Mr.cranky on Sep 09, 2014

      I say, let them try because it's much more entertaining when they fail. You get more material to mock. Then again, how many people said that imports wouldn't sell here in the US? Japanese vehicles? Korean vehicles? Anyway, those people laughed but the heads of those companies laughed even HARDER, all the way to the bank!

  • Raresleeper Raresleeper on Sep 09, 2014

    Good God! Like a dollar store G-Wagon. SMH I bet the ride is "robust" with lots of sound deadening!