Mahindra and Mahindra and subsidiary SsangYong Motor Co. will roll out their first jointly developed engine in the first quarter of 2015, according to Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra's automotive and farm equipment sectors. SsangYong plans to fit the engine in its X100 compact SUV that will be introduced next year.
"Mahindra most likely will have a ... version of it on that [X100] platform," he said. Goenka, who is also chairman of SsangYong, added that there are future products that the companies will collaborate on using a common platform. He expects the Mahindra and SsangYong to eventually build six engines that will entail gasoline and diesel variants.
Mahindra will also launch two of its own compact SUVs and a commercial vehicle in 2015, Goenka said, adding that the company has no plans to introduce any passenger vehicles this year.
Small SUVs are still one of the few bright spots in a domestic auto market that is hit by weak demand brought by a slowing economy as well as high interest rates and fuel costs. Mahindra logged a 17-percent drop in demand for its SUVs in April-December period, industry data show.
The drop, however, was more than made up for by strong sales of tractors in the local and foreign markets like China and the United States. Mahindra is seeking to enter the US passenger vehicle market through SsangYong. Goenka remarked it could take at least two-three years for SsangYong to enter the US market.