Ford, Mahindra to Collaborate on Building Electric Cars for India

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Ford and its Indian partner, the Mahindra Group, have entered into a new agreement that aims to see the two companies partner on helping India have its own electric car line. The project's goal is two-folds: to help the country battle pollution from the vehicles clogging India’s roads, and to kick-off efforts to achieve complete electrification of the transportation sector by 2030.

The partnership will also look into a number of projects including electrification, mobility, connected vehicles, and transportation infrastructure, among other things.

The cooperation period for both companies extends to three years. During that period, opportunities for more collaboration will be looked into.

Mahindra, which manufactures a range of passenger and commercial vehicles, including tractors and aerospace tech, will give Ford access to operate in one of the biggest automotive markets in Asia. Meanwhile, its partnership with Ford opens up possibilities of creating its own connected and autonomous technology.

Likewise, Mahindra, which already produces the e2o micro electric car for the Indian, Nepalese, and Sri Lankan markets, said it would be open to creating a new line of electric vehicles in India with Ford. The American car manufacturer already announced earlier this month that it will create a new electric car line in China with local Chinese partner, Anhui Zotye Automobile.

When asked if Ford's plan in China can be replicated in India, Anand Mahindra said, "India could be the other location for doing that. In India, it may just happen because of a crisis of congestion and pollution, which is why the government there said we want every car to be electric by 2030, which is outrageously ambitious."

The new partnership is a reunion of sorts for both companies after Ford's previous Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields put the business in India on hold for a review. With the ousting of Fields in May, new CEO Jim Hackett took over, and found a way for Ford to stay in the Asian country.

India is poised to become the world's third largest auto market after China and the US, and both companies have strengths in sport utility vehicles. The new partners are still discussing what they will collaborate on, but Mahindra said EVs have been a primary topic ever since partnership negotiations started. Joint parts purchasing agreements and new model development are also on the table.

As part of the three-year alliance, the two car brands will look for ways to cut costs and boost profits in each other's markets.

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