Ford and Mahindra to forge a fresh alliance
Intend to work together on developing connected car tech, electrification and more
There's an old phrase that goes something like this: "If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together". That's pretty much the philosophy that a lot of carmakers seem to be following in the recent phase of evolution that the industry seems to be undergoing.
While not all partnerships workout and some break off even before they start, the latest names to announce their relationship goals in the Indian automotive space are Ford and Mahindra. That's Ford and the Mahindra Group. The two have announced their agreement to explore a strategic and mutually beneficial alliance in a variety of fields, which includes but is not limited to electrification, product development, mobility programs and connected vehicle projects. Also as part of the alliance, Ford will be looking to improve its reach in the Indian market while Mahindra would look to improve its reach outside of it. The current timeline for such a cooperation does not exceed three years and any plans for sustained cooperation will be decided at the end of those three years.
Of course, this isn't the first time the two brands will be working together, referencing to Ford's re-entry into the Indian market back in 1995 as Mahindra-Ford India Limited which was a 50-50 joint venture. The most notable car of the time from that cooperation was the Ford Escort, then in its sixth generation which was renowned for its ride quality. A past relationship that was mentioned in the comments of Ford's Executive VP and President of Global Markets, Jim Farley, “Our two companies have a long history of cooperation and mutual respect. The memorandum of understanding we have signed today with Mahindra will allow us to work together to take advantage of the changes coming in the auto industry. The enormous growth potential in the utility market and the growing importance of mobility and affordable battery electric vehicles are all aligned with our strategic priorities.”
Mahindra and Mahindra's Managing Director, Dr Pawan Geonka had this to say about the possible alliance, "The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility. Given these changes, we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities."
The final agreement with its details and the extent of the alliance are yet to be penned and signed, so stay tuned for further updates.