The Indian automaker Mahindra’s parent company Mahindra & Mahindra is known across the world for having ventures in numerous industries but there are some things about the company that not everyone is aware of. So today, we would like to share with you some the lesser known facts about the country’s largest carmaker Mahindra auto.
Started off as a steel trading company
Before making a huge name in the automotive industry, the revered Mahindra Group began its journey as a steel trading company. It was founded on 2 October 1945 in Ludhiana as Mahindra & Mohammed by brothers Kailash Chandra Mahindra and Jagdish Chandra Mahindra along with Malik Ghulam Muhammad. Anand Mahindra, the present Chairman of Mahindra Group, is the grandson of Jagdish Chandra Mahindra.
Country’s first manufacturer of off-road vehicles
Although Mahindra is well recognized as India’s largest producer of utility vehicles, few people are aware that it was also the nation’s first manufacturer of off-road vehicles. In 1949, the business started making Willys CJ3A Jeeps after obtaining the license to do so in India. A 4-wheel drive off-road vehicle known as the CJ3A was first made available to Indian consumers. Willys then improved the CJ3A into the CJ3B after Kaiser Motors purchased it.
Owns the first electric car brand in India
The electric arm of Mahindra Auto, presently known as Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd, was previously known as the REVA Electric Car Company. REVA, headquartered in Bangalore, was India’s first electric automobile manufacturer. The company was involved in the design and production of small electric cars. The REVAi electric car, the company’s first vehicle, was available in 26 countries and had sold over 4,000 of its many models globally by mid-March 2011. Reva was later bought by Mahindra & Mahindra in May 2010, and the company released the electric hatchback e2o in 2013.
Owned Peugeot Motorcycles
Many people might not be aware of this, but Mahindra also owns a historic motorcycle brand in portfolio of companies. In October 2014, the company purchased a 51% controlling share in Peugeot Motorcycles, a French maker of scooters and compact motorbikes. At the time, PSA Group retained a 49% stake in the company and the right to use its brand name, but in 2019 M&M eventually bought the whole company.
Owns the legendary Italian automotive design house – Pininfarina
For those unaware, one of the most iconic brands in the automotive world responsible for designing cars like the Ferrari 275 GTB, F40, 550 Maranello and a ton of others is the Italian car design firm and coachbuilder – Pininfarina S.p.A. and it is owned by Mahindra and Mahindra. In December 2015, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and affiliate Tech Mahindra Ltd, through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), agreed to buy a 76.06% stake in Italian car designer Pininfarina for €25.3 million (around Rs.186.7 crore).
Joint Venture with Ford India
In its hopes to survive in the country, the American automotive manufacturer Fords Indian subsidiary Ford India in October 2019, entered into a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra. The Indian utility maker at the time acquired a controlling 51% stake. Although this venture was very short lived and in January 2021, Mahindra ended its collaboration with Ford owing to global economic and business conditions caused by the pandemic.
First global model – Scorpio
The Scorpio, one of the brand’s most popular SUVs, was the first vehicle Mahindra ever developed for the international market by the brand. The in-house integrated design and production team of Mahindra & Mahindra conceptualized and created the Scorpio. Over the years, the car has been the recipient of three Indian awards, including the “Car of the Year” award from Business Standard Motoring as well as the “Best SUV of the Year” and the “Best Car of the Year” awards, both from BBC World’s Wheels. Recently the company also launched the newest iteration of this SUV – the Scorpio-N and the has also broken many records of the brand.
Mahindra also produces Military Vehicles
Beginning in 1947 with the importation of the Willys Jeep, which had been widely utilized in World War II, the Indian carmaker has also manufactured and assembled military vehicles in addition to producing automobiles, trucks, and tractors. The Mahindra Armored Light Specialist Vehicle (ALSV) and the Mahindra Armored Straton Armoured Personnel Carrier are two of its military vehicles under the brand name Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armouring (MEVA, Mahindra Armoured) (APC).
Largest tractor manufacturer in the world
Apart from being India’s largest UV maker, the company also has the title of the world’s highest-selling tractor brand by volume. Mahindra Tractors, the subsidiary, has a booming market in North America and Australia. The company is India’s largest tractor producer, with a current capacity of 150,000 tractors per year. In 1963, M&M built its first tractor, the Mahindra B-275, as part of a joint venture with International Harvester to build tractors bearing the Mahindra trademark for the Indian market.
Out of the 11 founding teams in the all-electric street racing championship the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Mahindra Racing is the only one representing India in the racing competition. In 2017, the squad won the Berlin Electric Race. The group was the first to be awarded a Three-Star FIA Environmental Accreditation grade.