agencyfaqs! News Bureau
NEW DELHI, September 26
The US-based Ford Motor Company has decided against its earlier plan of marketing Mahindra & Mahindra's (M&M) multi-utility vehicle, Scorpio, outside India.
Ford had entered into an equal equity JV with M&M two years ago to set up a car-manufacturing unit in India. Ford currently owns 85 per cent stake in the company. The company, initially named Mahindra Ford India Ltd, was later rechristened Ford India Ltd.
Around Rs 400 to Rs 500 crore has been invested into Project Scorpio, under which a series of multi-utility vehicles (MUVs) will be launched. The first vehicle will be rolled out by June next year.
Philip Spender, director, Ford India Ltd, said, "Earlier, Ford was contemplating the option of marketing Scorpio abroad; but now we have dropped the idea altogether." However, executive director and president of M&M's automotive sector Alan E Durante, claimed he was unaware of Ford's decision. He said, "We have been working very closely with Ford on Project Scorpio, and I am not aware of their decision to opt out of the venture."
As part of Project Scorpio, M&M is setting up a Rs 4.5-billion factory at Nashik. Altogether, there will be three models of the Scorpio, which will target the upper, middle and lower ends of the market. Durante revealed that the company is yet to decide on which model is to be rolled out first.
Meanwhile, M&M will also be relaunching Voyager in Karnataka next month, by pricing it competitively. "The company had to stop selling these vehicles because of the peculiar road tax structure of the Karnataka government," said Durante.
The company, in another significant decision, has phased out its Armada Grand model coinciding with the launch of Bolero. At the time of the phase-out, the company was selling around 250 vehicles of the model every month.