Indian conglomerate Mahindra announces plans to enter US and Chinese markets

Lian Parsons
Anand Mahindra likened the American market to a Sinatra song (Source: Getty)

Mahindra Group is planning to enter US and Chinese markets with electric cars.

The Indian company will work with its Italian affiliate, Pininfarina to create the high-end vehicles.

The Italian auto-design specialist is most well-known for its relationship with Ferrari. It was acquired two years ago by Mahindra in a €25.5m (£21.9m) deal.

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Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said selling cars in the US “forces you to be the most competitive.”

Competing in the US is like the old Frank Sinatra song that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

“We’re very bullish on the American market,” he added.

He said the company plans to double its investments in the US, but did not reveal any specific figures.

China and the US are the world’s two biggest auto markets.

Mahindra said the company will build its investments and presence in America through its South Korean auto unit, SsangYong Motor.

Chief executive of SsangYong Motor, Choi Johng-sik said it is preparing to enter the US, but won’t make the move for at least another three years. However, the company is planning to build a plant in China, with a decision expected by this summer.

“There were many people questioning our wisdom for making investment in Ssangyong,” Mahindra said. “But it’s now the third-largest company in the Mahindra Group in terms of revenue.”

Pressures from Donald Trump to have more American-made goods have given global automakers incentive to increase investments in the US, a policy Mahindra said is “not global, but inward looking.”

Other car manufacturers like Hyundai Motor Co. said they would continue build up their facilities in the U.S.

In January, the Japanese company said it would invest up to $3.1bn in its U.S. manufacturing facilities and announced potential plans to build a new American plant.

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