Indian automotive manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M; Mumbai) inaugurated a new chapter in the multinational company’s life with the opening of its first U.S. factory in Detroit. Executive Chairman, Anand Mahindra, and the Lt. Governor of Michigan, Brian Calley, cut the ribbon yesterday at the Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) plant, which represents a $230 million investment.
This marks the first investment in 25 years in a new OEM operation in Detroit, reported the Hindu BusinessLine in an article by Raghuvir Srinivasan. The company has created 250 new jobs at the plant, which will have the capacity to produce 10,000 units of the Roxow, an off-highway vehicle. MANA will invest another $600 million in the facility by 2020, adding another 400 jobs.
M&M opened its first engineering facility four years ago with seven employees in Auburn Hills, MI. MANA will continue to provide Metro Detroit-based engineering support for new vehicle platform development for India and global markets. “We’ve created an incubator here,” said Mahindra. “[MANA President and CEO Richard Haas] has come with rich start-up experience from Tesla and the operation is based in Detroit to leverage conventional manufacturing skills. MANA will be an asset-light operation with a start-up mentality.”
The Roxor, designed and developed by MANA, was not unveiled at the ribbon cutting; Haas said that it would be launched in early 2018.
The Hindu BusinessLine reported that Mahindra spoke at the grand opening about first coming to the United States in 1973 as a freshman student and how this was his way of giving back to the country for all that he had learned as a student.
As to whether the company would enter the U.S. utility vehicle market, Mahindra said that it is “not imminent, though it remains an aspiration.”
According to the Hindu BusinessLine, Mahindra emphasized that “MANA is not playing the volumes game,” adding that “sometimes scarcity works better" and that "the days of requiring enormous scale to succeed are over.”