Mahindra is planning on launching an off-road utility vehicle targeting farmers and hunters, and will build it in the US. In an interview by Barron’s, Mahindra & Mahindra’s CEO Pawan Goenka covered a range of topics including a new manufacturing plant in Detroit. The first product produced by the plant will be off-road utility vehicles.
In April 2015 Mahindra announced a partnership with Intimidator Inc. based in Arkansas to develop and manufacture Mahindra’s current mPact lineup of six UTVs. This latest interview indicates that moving forward they will be developing and manufacturing their UTVs themselves. According to the CEO Mahindra currently has about 540 dealers in the US who sell Mahindra’s tractors. While the brand is not necessarily a household name, it is not an obscure brand either in the farming market.
Comment: This marks a more serious commitment to the UTV market. While some companies have developed partnerships to add UTVs to their product lineup, they have not had intentions of moving into manufacturing themselves. These partnerships have been a joining of complementary competencies and assets. Usually one company has the distribution channel while the other has the expertise and resources to develop the UTVs. In Mahindra’s case they likely used their partnership with Intimidator to test the UTV market in the US before making a more substantial commitment. They will offer some more competition for companies like Kubota, John Deere, Polaris and even Can Am which has been targeting the farm/hunting market segment lately as well. The investment shows that the UTV market remains highly competitive, but companies still view it as a growth market.
Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com