Mahindra could consider investing in a battery-cell manufacturing company going forward, asserts the company’s CEO, Anish Shah. This statement comes after Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian auto manufacturer, secured around $250 million (approx. ₹2,000 crores) from British International Investment (BII) for starting its new EV wing with a valuation of $9.1 billion (approx. ₹72,200 crores). BII will receive a 2.75 per cent to 4.76 per cent stake in the new EV company.
Mahindra & Mahindra is looking forward to joining forces with Volkswagen AG of Germany to source EV components for its new electric vehicles. The expertise of the Volkswagen group in manufacturing batteries for its ID and the Skoda electric vehicles will help M&M in the short to medium term, says the company. However, Shah believes the company will have to explore the possibilities of forming a relationship with a global leader in battery manufacturing to secure future supplies. He added, “Our intent is not to get into (manufacturing) batteries. There are people who do it very well. We can partner with them; we could be a co-investor in some form. We don’t need to own it and run it.”
Semiconductor shortages in the COVID-19 pandemic affected most automakers around the globe. Mahindra & Mahindra vehicles such as the Thar and the XUV700 are currently running waiting periods of over 18 months. To address such production delays, car makers like M&M are trying to have greater control over supplies and costs by striking key partnerships.
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Mahindra will be soon showcasing its first electric SUV based on the XUV300 ICE version. It is likely to be called the XUV 400 Electric and could be unveiled in September 2022, with deliveries starting in January 2023. It will be pitted against the Tata Nexon EV in the market. Ahead of that, the company will be hosting an event in the UK on August 15, 2022, where it will display its EV product, technology, and platform strategy. As many as three electric SUV concept cars are expected to be revealed at the event. Unlike the XUV400 EV, which is based on an ICE vehicle, these products will be born electrics.
Pratap Bose, Chief Design Officer, Mahindra & Mahindra, has confirmed that the production versions will be true to the concepts. Bose earlier worked with Tata Motors and is the man behind the Tata Nexon, Harrier, Altroz, and the Punch, which turned out to be about 80 percent of the concept designs. We can expect a similar strategy and striking new designs from him at Mahindra.
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