Mahindra and Ford are building upon their strategic alliance. Both companies have signed a new agreement to co-develop a midsize Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) for the Indian and other emerging markets. The new SUV will be using a Mahindra platform along with the powertrain as well. The new vehicle will be a C-segment SUV which could be a replacement for the Mahindra XUV500 and will be cross badged by Ford. Mahindra and Ford are also working on a new telematics control unit which also hints that the upcoming SUV could be a connected vehicle. Mahindra is developing a new low-displacement petrol engine which it will also supply to Ford. In turn, Ford will be using the powertrain in its future vehicles from 2020 which suggests that the new engine will be BS6 compliant.
It was in 2017 that Mahindra and Ford had joined hands to explore mutual business interests. Since then, both the carmakers have been working together on electrification, distribution and development of new products. Commenting on the new development, Dr Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra said, "I am happy with the significant progress we have made and synergies we have created since the announcement of our strategic alliance with Ford in 2017. Today's announcement is another significant step in the collaboration between our two companies. Having identified several areas for joint development, both companies will continue to work together to develop products using common product platforms. This will reduce product development costs and gain economies of scale for both companies."
In November 2018, carandbike had reported that Mahindra will lead the alliance for development of electric vehicles by providing the technology to develop new EVs. Ford will be providing the platforms while all the other essential software, hardware and technological build up which includes Battery Packs, Powertrain system (Motor and transmission), power electronics which is the DC-DC charger and motor controller will be developed by Mahindra Electric.
Last year, Mahindra had also shared that it will be further investing in its 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines to make it BS6 compliant. The same engine will also make its way into the W601 (codename for the next-generation XUV500) and then into its Ford badged version. Ford's version could be little ahead of just a cross badged model and may sport different elements like a new front grille and different headlamps among others. The cabin of Ford's C-SUV could also be tweaked to house the latest version of the SYNC 3 infotainment system.
2020 is when the investment of both the parties could pay off and we could see new products rolling out. The new alliance will also give additional synergies to both carmakers and will help with better engineering and commercial efficiencies.