On the 75th Independence day, Indian homegrown auto manufacturer- Mahindra and Mahindra has forayed its way into the electrifying future with its ambitious master plan. Eminent journalists from India and the top management team headed by Mr Rajesh Jejurikar ( Executive Director , Auto & Farm Sectors, Mr R Velusamy ( Head- Automotive Product Development ) and Mr Pratap Bose( Chief Design Officer ) from Mahindra had a brief discussion on Mahindra’s strategies and approach toward the electric future.

1) Question- Why did Mahindra choose Volkswagen for the alliance, and how would VW benefit from Mahindra?

Answer- The crucial part of the EV game is supply chain management, and we wanted to partner with a brand that wants to invest deep down in the supply chain. VW is putting in its good efforts in those directions, and moreover, it has ambitious enough intent that will benefit Mahindra. Technology is rapidly evolving, and we need to partner with someone who is open to future challenges and is capable enough to tackle those.

2) Question –How’s Mahindra’s platform different from the VW’s platform?

Answer- Mahindra wanted to create an SUV-specific platform, and we attempted to get technological advancement from the VW group and carry those inputs for the SUV portfolio only. In comparison, VW has flexibility with their design to carry out whichever type of car they wish to create.

3) Question– How will Mahindra be ever-ready with upcoming technological advancements in the automobile industry?

Answer- Today, we have locked in the technology way ahead of what’s in the market. So, we are betting on the technology which isn’t mainstream today, and the VW group will put all its efforts into being production ready to match our timelines. And as the technology evolves, we will keep updating and strengthening with the partner for upgrading.

4) Question– What’s the localization target Mahindra is planning to achieve with the new-age EVs?

Answer-Mahindra is still figuring out the potential and scale of the localization. Moreover, localization has the business case to justify itself, so if there is a volume at the level which will benefit both VW and Mahindra, the subsequent paths will be laid in that direction. Some of the pipeline has already been worked on and a lot of the exploration will happen as the technology and demand evolve.

5) Question-Why did Mahindra choose a 60kWh as the minimal battery pack for its EVs?

Answer- Mahindra is a performance brand at the end of the day. We do not want to be in the business of just transporting from point A to point B. Our vision is to provide a cutting-edge product that is more engaging and useful to use.

6) Question- Who’s the cell manufacturer, and are there any steps on the battery pack localization?

Answer– VW group has its own cell and has developed its supply chain network for the cells and currently will rely on them for the battery pack manufacturing. We will find our ways afterwards for the best possible way for the localization.

7) Question– Why did Mahindra not introduce the design language based on the iconic Thar?

Answer- Currently, charging infrastructure isn’t viable enough to resonate with the adventurous brand image of the Thar. But, will wait time to evolve and will introduce our Scorpio and Thar subsequently in its electric avtar .  

8) Question- What’s the timeline and proposed target Mahindra wants to achieve with EVs?

Answer- We are working on driving the strong EV transition, and by 2027 we will move 20-30 per cent of the SUV portfolio into EVs. We have invested heavily in EVs and would be focused enough to optimize all the resources available to deliver results.

9) Question– How does Mahindra want to differentiate two brands at the dealership level?

Answer– The plan is to use the existing dealerships, and our works are already underway to differentiate the BE brand from the XUV brand. We will make an EV-centric experience centre for pure electric vehicles in future.