Ford Motor Company has a plan to reinvigorate its business in India, at the same time that General Motors is preparing to quit selling vehicles there under its Chevrolet brand by the end of 2017. Both US automakers have struggled to gain a foothold in the Asian country, which is largely dominated by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation. Ford’s solution, according to Bloomberg, is to enter into a new partnership with Indian SUV-maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Ford has been partners with Mahindra before, entering into a joint venture with the Indian company back in the 1990s after India first opened its car market to foreign enterprises. The partnership ended in 2005, after it had failed to claim much market share for Ford.
Now, Ford and Mahindra have formed a new, three-year partnership to cooperate on drivetrain electrification, vehicle distribution, connected vehicles, and even mobility programs, with the hopes of improving Ford’s reach in India. The American automaker held just 3 percent of the market as of March 2017, according to Bloomberg, while Mahindra held 7.75 percent. The Indian market is poised to grow substantially over the coming years, however, swelling from the No. 5 to the No. 3 automotive market in the world.
“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” says Ford President of Global Markets Jim Farley.