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American automotive giant Ford and Indian SUV marque Mahindra have agreed to jointly develop a new mid-size SUV for the Indian market. The new co-branded Ford and Mahindra SUV will use the latter's platform and powertrain.
The new agreement will also strenghten the strategic alliance between the two companies in India. Ford and Mahindra are currently collaborating on areas of mutual interest including electrification, distribution and product development.
Ford already has an agreement in place with Mahindra which will see the Indian carmaker build a small displacement petrol engine for the American marque. This engine will be used in Ford's current and future cars from 2020. The two carmakers had also announced the joint development of a telematics control unit when the engine agreement was signed.
Speaking about the new agreement by the two companies to build a new mid-size SUV in India, Dr Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, M&M Ltd. 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."
Jim Farley, president of Ford New Businesses, Technology & Strategy also spoke about the new agreement between the American automotive giant and Mahindra stating, "With today's announcement, we not only strengthen our ongoing partnership with Mahindra but also sharpen our competitiveness in an important emerging market like India. Ford's technological leadership combined with Mahindra's successful operating model and product prowess will surely help us deliver a vehicle that will meet the expectations of customers in India as well as other emerging markets."
The new C-segement SUV is expected to be the next-generation Mahindra XUV500, which is expected to make its debut at Auto Expo 2020. The next-gen XUV500 is expected to feature a brand new monocoque chassis and will be powered by a brand new 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine from Mahindra. The new diesel engine is expected to produce around 180bhp under the bonnet of the next Mahindra XUV500, which is also expected to feature an all-wheel-drive setup.