Ford & Mahindra join hands to develop Tata Harrier rival: Next-gen Mahindra XUV500 & Ford-branded SUV

Ford and Mahindra are in a joint venture. Ford already uses Mahindra dealerships in India cities and towns where it has no presence to sell the EcoSport. Ford will also supply the Figo and Aspire to Mahindra, which will electrify the  cars and sell it in India, and also resupply them to Ford. The third leg of this partnership has now been revealed.  Ford and Mahindra will jointly develop a C-SUV, which will take on the likes of the Tata Harrier and next-generation  Hyundai Creta. The C-SUV will be based on a Mahindra platform and will a powertrain developed by Mahindra but Ford will also get to badge-engineer it and sell it under its own brand in the Indian market.

Ford & Mahindra join hands to develop Tata Harrier rival: Next-gen Mahindra XUV500 & Ford-branded SUV

Talking about the C-SUV plans, Dr Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, M&M Ltd. said

I am happy with the significant progress we have made and synergies we have created since the announcement of our strategic alliance with Ford in 2017. Today’s announcement is another significant step in the collaboration between our two companies. Having identified several areas for joint development, both companies will continue to work together to develop products using common product platforms. This will reduce product development costs and gain economies of scale for both companies.

Ford & Mahindra join hands to develop Tata Harrier rival: Next-gen Mahindra XUV500 & Ford-branded SUV

Jim Farley, president of Ford New Businesses, Technology & Strategy, said

With today’s announcement, we not only strengthen our ongoing partnership with Mahindra but also sharpen our  competitiveness in an important emerging market like India. Ford’s technological leadership combined with Mahindra’s successful operating modeland product prowess will surely help us deliver a vehicle that will meet the expectations of customers in India as well as other emerging markets.

Apart from using the Mahindra platform and powertrain for its new Tata Harrier-rivaling SUV, Ford will also receive a  small capacity turbocharged petrol engine from Mahindra for use in its cars, sometime after April 2020, when the much stricter Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms kick in. This engine is likely to be the 1.2 liter-3 cylinder  turbocharged petrol engine that was first seen on the Mahindra XUV300. This engine is expected to make it into the  likes of the Ford EcoSport, Figo and Aspire models. Producing a healthy 110 Bhp-200 Nm, this engine is the current  torque leader in the sub-4 met er SUV segment in India.

World over, car makers are entering alliances and joint ventures to bring down engineering, parts sourcing and  operational costs. Ford entered India in the 1990s with Mahindra as its joint venture partner, and later chose to go alone. With both companies back in a partnership, the clock seems to come a full circle for both Ford and Mahindra.  This partnership could result in very competitive vehicles – mainly SUVs – for Indian buyers as both companies have  big strengths that can complement each other.