Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is set to give Ford its cheapest electric car globally, while the two companies have also started work on a new platform to develop an SUV that would be sold under their individual branding.
Top sources told TOI that M&M has helped Ford develop an electric version of its Aspire entry sedan, and this can hit the market by next year. Ford has gained tremendously from Mahindra’s strength in electric vehicles technology. The Aspire will be the first to hit the roads and, unlike its existing petrol/diesel version, which is under 4 meters in length, the electric variant will be a longer one, sources said TOI.
The two companies had in September last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) initially for a period of three years to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry.
The MoU was to explore joint work on electric vehicles and global distribution as teams from the companies have been working on striking synergies and areas for mutual benefit. Mahindra’s help will now enable Ford to get an affordable electric vehicle in India substantially quicker and ahead of launch by even market leader Maruti Suzuki, which has announced a 2020 entry into electric vehicles.
The vehicle will be right in the heart of the market. Apart from mainline customers, the vehicle will also help Ford participate in lucrative government orders, with a big thrust on cleaner vehicles in purchases by both central and state governments.
The two companies have also started work on an all new SUV. This is being developed jointly and is an ambitious and bold step. The joint SUV project is at a very advanced stage and while there will be a joint platform, the design will be individual for the both the companies in line with their brand philosophies.