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India's Mahindra to explore more partnerships for EV parts

In an interview at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos, Mahindra’s CEO said the company is to use “significant funds” for its electric vehicle portfolio.
Anish Shah, CEO of India's Mahindra Group, pictured ahead of the World Economic Forum at the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, 22 May 2022.
Anish Shah, CEO of India's Mahindra Group, pictured ahead of the World Economic Forum at the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, 22 May 2022.

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 focused 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 and 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 private-equity firm 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 focused 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.