Mahindra and Mahindra Limited is the latest manufacturer to formally settle in South Africa and use the country as a springboard into the rest of Africa. Its starting product lineup consists of two SUVs.

Mahindra and Mahindra Limited is the latest manufacturer to formally settle in South Africa and use the country as a springboard into the rest of Africa. Its starting product lineup consists of two SUVs.


Following the launch of Tata Motors earlier this year (the full model lineup and prices will be made public at the Auto Africa Expo next week), Mahindra SA, headed by chief executive Vijay Nakra, has ambitious plans for the South African automotive market.


With credentials including an engineering degree and an MBA, Nakra has been involved with the development of the Scorpio SUV, from inception and has now relocated to South Africa with his family to assure the success of the official foray into Africa.


The Scorpio has received many awards as an in-house design and development project using, where required, expertise from diverse specialists such as the Austrian firm AVL, which designed the SZ 2,6-litre turbodiesel engine, Renault, which supplies the two-litre petrol engine, Behr, which was responsible for the air-conditioning and ventilation, Lear for the interior, Borg Warner for the transfer case, not to forget Fuji in Japan for the tooling dies required to produce 4 000 units a month.


If future operations allow, Mahindra is keen to set up a manufacturing plant in South Africa. The local launch took place at the Gerotek test facility and was attended by the vice chairman and managing director of M&M, Anand Mahindra, president of the auto division of M&M Alan Durante, and Mxolisi Matshamba of the department of trade and industries.


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