After the acquisition of Korean manufacturer Ssangyong, Mahindra and Mahindra have pumped in Rs.2,000 crore for the revival of the company. It is a very big investment however as signs go, Mahindra and Mahindra seem to have got themselves a bargain. The first vehicle to be born out of this wedlock would be a SUV and research for it is already underway with the approval from the Korean government. Well, you may ask the reason why there is need for approval from the government? The reason why the company has to take government permission is because the government has taken upon themselves the responsibility of restructuring the company. After this approval, few of Ssangyong’s engineers dropped by in Mahindra and Mahindra’s Chakan plant near Pune. It seems that the company may finally be able to exploit the benefits of acquiring the Korean company soon. The new SUV would be slotted above the Mahindra Scorpio and would be a viable option to the Chevrolet Captiva and Hyundai Santa Fe.
Another company which Mahindra and Mahindra have a controlling stake is Reva. This company is the only one in India making strictly electric cars. The coalition recently launched the Reva electric car in Pune. The company currently manufactures about 35,000 cars in a year. This coalition is now looking out for international playgrounds namely China. The reason for this is that the Chinese government have recently announced attractive tax rebates for companies selling electric cars. To make it more practical, the Chinese government are also making efforts to put in electric infrastructure in all the major urban areas. The electric car numbers are supposedly pegged to grow upto 5 million by 2015. The model that the company plans to launch in China would be the Reva NXG which has 4 seats, 100 kmph top speed and also range of 170 kms. There is also a 15 minutes easy charging facility which would be fitted into the car and also a new technology called as REV-ive. The REV-ive acts in such a way that should the car run out of charge, there would be a reserve mode. Also the Chinese market is known more for durable but cheap items and this could prove to be a boon for Mahindra and Mahindra since they could price the Reva NXG even more aggressively.
Another of Mahindra and Mahindra’s technical partners, Renault have moved out of the partnership but not before giving the former rights to manufacture the Mahindra Logan in India and also for exports. They have acquired the tools and die casting materials from the French manufacturer. Since the car hasn’t been too much of a success due to its high price, the Indian company is thinking of changing the mindset of the Indian public away from the Meru cab thought, one for which the Mahindra Logan is famous for. The design for the car would be changed a bit as well by its Indian owners now. The car is all set to be rebadged and marketed with a fresh appeal for the Indian car buying public. Vivek Nayar, Marketing Head of the company confirmed that there would be a new “Logan for India” campaign. This would start towards the end of December 2010. Unfortunately some other of the company’s products like the Renault Fluence, Renault Megane and other small cars cannot make it to the Indian soil with a Mahindra badge and instead would come with a Renault badge. Yes, Renault would market all their cars on their except for the Logan as it would be now entrusted totally upon Mahindra and Mahindra.
As always and as per tradition, the Mahindra Great Escape event was flagged off amidst much fanfare. The event was held in Hyderabad this year. For those of you who aren’t in the know, the Mahindra Great Escape is an event where customers of Mahindra vehicles can take part in off road events and test the off road capability of their SUVs. The company provides for back up facilities to handle breakdowns, accidents as well as breakfast. This event is flagged off by showing the participants video tutorial of off roading manoeuvres by National Rally Champion Hari Singh and then a go karting session. The very next day, once the participants get a hang of the off-road conditions, they are driven to a 50 kms off road course for the event. This particular course was at Ocean County along the NH 9. It started with a flat smooth road however the road becomes rough after a few kilometers into the trip. Next step is the grass fields, further ahead is the steep rocky descent followed by a hill climb and then a waist deep water lake. This was the course where most of the participants encountered power problems as well as were found lacking in off-road know how. The last and final course was a slush patch with thick vegetation to compound to the problems. There is no winner in this and it is just to show the participants the utility of their SUVs and how they can handle the rough. At the end of this all, the person coming out unscathed is given a prize and maintenance tips for the Mahindra vehicles is also given. The only thing qualifying one for this Mahindra Great Escape event is that you should own a Mahindra SUV or a jeep and should be of the legal age to drive. There were no casualties except for the few breakdowns which happened due to the water entering the tail pipe and so on.