DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – India’s Mahindra and Mahindra will explore sourcing more components from other companies to boost its electric vehicle (EV) portfolio, its chief executive told Reuters.
Anish Shah said Mahindra had over time focussed on developing EV components in-house, but now changed tack to forge partnerships to achieve faster growth in the segment.
Mahindra last week signed a partnership agreement with Volkswagen in which it will explore equipping its electric cars with motors, battery system components and cells made by the German automaker.
“The world is moving towards a lot more partnerships. It’s better to source the best that’s out there, rather than do everything ourselves,” Shah said in an interview at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos.
“It’s VW (Volkswagen) at this stage and as we see similar strengths in other areas, we are open to looking at various components that we would bring in, and do what we are very good at in-house as well,” he added.
Although Mahindra is placing big bets on developing its EV portfolio, it will face fierce competition from India’s Tata Motors in a country where the clean mobility sector is picking up fast.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is offering companies billions of dollars in incentives to build EVs, as India looks to meet its climate change and carbon reduction goals.
India’s EV market represents only 1% of the country’s annual sales of about 3 million vehicles, with consumers still opting for fuel-guzzling cars that are far more affordable.
Tata dominates India’s EV market and last year raised $1 billion from TPG for the business. MG Motor India, which is owned by China’s SAIC Motor, also has plans to raise funds to develop its EV business.
Shah said Mahindra will use “significant funds” for EVs and had them available, adding: “We always will be open to value creation opportunities”.
Mahindra has developed a portfolio of EV commercial vehicles in India, but the latest push is focussed on passenger cars, and more particularly, sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
“Our strike zone has been authentic SUVs, that’s where we are going to stay … we are not going to make EV sedans, no hatchbacks,” Shah said.
(Reporting by Aditya Kalra in Davos; Editing by Alexander Smith)