New Delhi: Utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd is looking at options to buy a US facility for assembling its pickup trucks that would save it an import penalty, a senior official said on Friday.
Mahindra, which sells tractors to US farmers and has three local assembly plants, plans to launch pickup trucks in the US in phases from 2010 and the Scorpio vehicle within a year after that, said Pravin Shah, executive vice-president of international operations.
“We are exploring various options,” Shah said, adding that the acquisition of a facility would be the most economically feasible option.
Asked about the demand outlook for the firm’s vehicles in the US, Shah said: “We have found sweet spots for ourselves.”
He said the pickup trucks will be “competitively priced”, and that the US would become the company’s largest export market in “some time”.
Mahindra has planned a total outlay of around $100 million (Rs489 crore) for the US launches, of which about $80 million has been spent, Shah said.
Mahindra exports its Scorpio and Bolero cars to 22 countries in Africa, Latin America and Europe. Its export volumes fell to 9,000 units in the year to March from 13,000 in the previous year. “We expect it to be slightly better this year,” Shah said.