Ford and Mahindra enter new partnership

Ford has joined forces with Mahindra in a deal that will allow it to explore emerging markets

Ford Edge - Ford badge

Struggling Ford of America and rising star Mahindra of India are set to join forces, with a focus on co-developing compact electric vehicles. 

The proposed “strategic alliance” partnership will give the Blue Oval improved access to the Indian car market, which is on course to overtake the USA and become the third largest car market in the world.

Best electric cars on sale right now

In turn, the India firm - in conjunction with its daughter company, SsangYong of South Korea - hopes to crack the traditional but still lucrative American market which is currently dominated by pick-ups and SUVs built by the likes of GM, Ford and Jeep. But high US labour costs mean such vehicles have become increasingly expensive. 

SsangYong Musso - front three quarter

This leaves the door open for Ford to help SsangYong wade-in with more affordable offerings that still feature the large engines and durability that increasingly cost-conscious American consumers demand. Effectively, SsangYong could become Ford’s budget SUV brand.

"The agreement of intent between the two companies [Ford and Mahindra/SsangYong] will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry," they said in a joint statement.

Both firms need to continue designing, building and selling millions of petrol and diesel vehicles in as many countries as possible during the coming years. While acknowledging that India is on course to become the third largest car market in the world, Ford also accepts that it will have a comparatively small slice of this giant Indian cake - unless it gets into bed with Mahindra.

As if not more important will be much-needed co-operation between Ford, Mahindra and SsangYong to share costs in areas such as product sourcing, planning and development.

But the ultimate goal for the American firm is to ensure that it has small and large driverless and drivable electric vehicles on sale globally from the 2020s onwards. With its new Mumbai and Seoul-based collaborators, Ford is hopeful of becoming a stronger, more active contender on a world automotive stage.

Do you think the Ford/Mahindra deal is a good thing for the US brand? Let us know below...

Recommended

High-performance Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Bronco revealed with 405bhp
Hennessey Bronco
Ford

High-performance Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Bronco revealed with 405bhp

New Hennessey VelociRaptor 400 Bronco unveiled with more power and off-road upgrades
19 Jul 2021
New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT: prices and release date announced
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford

New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT: prices and release date announced

The fastest iteration of the Ford Mustang Mach-E offers 480bhp and costs from £67,225
9 Jul 2021
Best 60s cars: the 30 greatest cars of the 1960s
Best cars of the 60s - header
Best cars & vans

Best 60s cars: the 30 greatest cars of the 1960s

The swinging sixties brought a vast array of unforgettable cars that would establish the path of the industry for decades to come. We pick our top 30 …
21 Jun 2021
Ford confirms two new flexible electric car architectures
Ford electric platform
Ford

Ford confirms two new flexible electric car architectures

New electric platforms to underpin a variety of Ford vehicles
27 May 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021