Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has opened its first technical center in North America. The center, located in suburban Detroit, will be responsible for providing design and consulting services for Mahindra's automotive customers in the region. The center will also be responsible for supporting the company’s automotive and tractor engineering operations in India.
Mahindra has been selling tractors in the United States since 1994. Although its plans to sell a compact diesel pickup in the US failed to materialize, Mahindra is still aiming to be one of the top 10 global carmakers by 2020.
According to Mahindra executives, they are planning to target the global entry level, B and C segments. They added that Mahindra Engineering Services' clients include General Motors, Daimler, BMW, Volvo, Bentley and Navistar.
Before deciding to locate in suburban Detroit, Mahindra also mulled building the technical center in Illinois, England, and Germany. According to Mahindra Engineering Services chief executive Prashant Kamat, the company eventually chose the Detroit suburb of Troy since southeastern Michigan is considered a center for automotive culture and enthusiasts.
The Detroit technical center will initially employ 25 engineers as its total employees could rise to 50 people. Mahindra's plans to sell a compact diesel pickup in the US failed in 2010 when its US distribution and marketing agreement with Global Vehicles USA of Atlanta ended.
Global Vehicles' chief executive and some dealers who had signed to sell Mahindra vehicles sought legal remedy but failed. In June 2012, a group of franchisees filed a lawsuit against Mahindra in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, accusing the India's largest tractor and SUV maker of deceiving them when it said that it planned to sell a pickup in the US.