Mahindra lines up new products; firming up investments for the electric future

Mahindra & Mahindra is lining up new products and investments while consolidating its production plans as it remains “very optimistic” about the gradual development of electric vehicle penetration in the country over the next few years. According to a senior company official, the Mumbai-based automajor expects the transition to electric mobility to come in stages, with the fleet and sport utility segments set to lead the domestic market transformation.

“Our internal research tells us that 25% of existing SUV buyers would like to consider an electric SUV as their next purchase. The research also tells us that over the next 2-3 years we will see this type of transition happen,” Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director of Mahindra & Mahindra (automotive and agricultural sectors), told PTI during an interaction.

He noted that in five years, the company expects about 20 to 30 percent of its SUVs to be electric.

Betting big on green mobility, Mahindra has lined up five new electric sports utility vehicles (SUVs), with the first four expected to hit the market between December 2024 and 2026.

The automaker plans to roll out the five electric SUV models under two brands – XUV and the all-new electric-only brand called “BE”.

The legacy brands will fall under the XUV brand while the all-new electric model will be rolled out under the “BE” brand.

Elaborating on the trends, Jejurikar noted that electricity penetration in the domestic market will start with households owning multiple cars. “Also, the fleet segment will go electric very quickly, because it makes economic sense for them,” he added.

However, the levy for hatchbacks and electric sedans in the retail segment would be slow as customers would not want to pay a higher price upfront for the family’s only car in the absence of adequate charging infrastructure. in place, Jejurikar said.

“In the SUV space, whether entry-level or mid-size, there will be much faster adoption because they are typically part of households that have more than one car,” he said. he adds.

When asked if now is the time for e-mobility to flourish in the country, Jejurikar replied, “It’s both yes and no. Currently there is 1% penetration in the C-segment and about 4% in segment B. and 4% will go up to 30 and 40% overnight, no it’s not going to happen.”

He added: “But we’re going to see steps towards 10% 15% and that’s why 20-30% penetration over the next 4-5 years is a realistic roadmap for the segments we operate in. ”

Jejurikar said the company plans to take a final call regarding manufacturing infrastructure for its electric sport utility vehicles over the next 3-6 months.

The company has already unveiled its first electric SUV under the XUV brand – the mid-size XUV 400 which would be rolled out from its Nashik plant in Maharashtra.

It is currently in talks with the governments of 3 or 4 states, depending on the incentives offered, to finalize the production plan for the remaining products. “We’ll probably have to decide in the next 3-6 months,” Jejurikar said.

He was responding to a question about how soon the company could finalize the production strategy.

On a question of whether the company would opt for a new facility or use its existing plants that deploy its line of internal combustion engine (ICE) models, he noted that it was not yet finalized.

The automaker is currently rolling out its conventional ICE vehicles from factories in various states including Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Regarding the planned investments for the electric segment, Jejurikar noted that the company had previously stated that the capital expenditure for the electric programs over a period of three years would be in the range of Rs 8,000 to 9,000 crore.

“It’s the immediate funding need for our electricity strategy. It includes most investments around everything,” he said.

In July, impact investor British International Investment (BII) announced that it would invest Rs 1,925 crore in Mahindra & Mahindra’s new electric vehicle arm “EV Co”.

With the flea situation easing and record bookings under the belt for products like Scorpio N and XUV 700, this could well turn out to be the best party season and year ever for the company in terms of sales.

“I hope so,” Jejurikar said, when asked if the current fiscal year might turn out to be the best for the company in terms of sales.

On the chip supply situation, he said, “A lot of constraints that we had, we were able to overcome them.”

The company shipped nearly 30,000 SUVs to dealers last month, its highest-ever wholesale sales in a month.

Regarding the company choosing pure electric products over hybrids, Jejurikar said the move is in line with the roadmap released by the government.

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