The change of plans could lead to a slight delay in Ford’s product launch activities
After announcing the break up of the joint venture earlier this year, Ford and Mahindra have been working out the details on how to proceed ahead with the platform and engine sharing arrangements which were part of the partnership. The breakup will mean Ford will continue to operate in India independently, and its future vehicle lineup is not likely to have any contribution from Mahindra.
Ford – Mahindra Engine Sharing Deal
As a part of the now dissolved JV agreement, Mahindra was supposed to supply engines for the American automaker’s upcoming SUVs codenamed BX744 which is the next generation EcoSport, and BX772 which is the Hyundai Creta rival.
However, according to Economic Times, Ford has reportedly asked his vendors to pause their work on these two projects until August 2021 so that suitable powertrain options are chosen from within Ford’s portfolio.
While Ford is still evaluating the future of its C-SUV which was supposed to be based on the next generation Mahindra XUV500’s platform, the publication reports that, according to its sources, Ford may choose to rely on one of its own products rather than depend on Mahindra. The Ford C-SUV for India could be a derivative of the automaker’s Territory SUV instead of the new XUV500.
No Mahindra engine for Ford EcoSport
The current version of Ford EcoSport was originally destined to receive Mahindra’s G12 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine, but now it will be equipped with Ford’s own Dragon engine later this year. The temporary hold on the ongoing projects is expected to lead to a delay of around six months in the launch of next gen EcoSport which is slated for 2022-23. The Creta rival project is also expected to experience a similar delay.
Ford India’s standalone plan
Moving forward, Ford India is gearing up to continue its long run in the country independently but there will be some significant strategic shift. While SUV onslaught is on track, the company is also reportedly planning on taking advantage of the 2,500 units per year import rule to introduce iconic nameplates like the Ford Mustang Mach E electric SUV.
Since Ford Brazil’s manufacturing operations are slated to end, Ford India is poised to take over the export load for North America, thereby utilizing its heavily underutilized production capacity across its two plans in Chennai and Sanand. With this move, Ford India will become one of the top exporters from the country once again.
The USD 800 million that Ford has earmarked for the JV will not be spent on new products for emerging markets while Mahindra will spend its budget on a massive electrification drive. It is good to know Ford continues to be committed to our market.