Figo, Ford ChennaiIndia – The two companies announced that their teams will work together for up to three years to explore potential areas of cooperation, before any further collaboration is confirmed. A statement from the OEMs said their alliance would “leverage the benefits of Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model”.

The areas where they may collaborate include: mobility programmes; connected vehicle projects; electrification; product development; sourcing and commercial efficiencies; distribution within India; and global emerging markets.

“The memorandum of understanding we have signed today with Mahindra will allow us to work together to take advantage of the changes coming in the auto industry,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice-president and president of Global Markets. “The enormous growth potential in the utility market and the growing importance of mobility and affordable battery electric vehicles are all aligned with our strategic priorities.”

Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra and Mahindra, added: “The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility. Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities.”

Ford entered India in 1995 and is now one of the largest automotive exporters from the country, distributing vehicles from its plants at Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Sanand in Gujarat. India is now Ford’s second-largest employee base worldwide, comprising 14,000 workers.