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JOHANNESBURG - Indian vehicle manufacturer Mahindra is set to announce details this month about its plans to assemble its vehicles in South Africa.

Newly appointed chief executive Rajesh Gupta said the company would start with the assembly of the Mahindra Pik-Up. “This will offer us a sound footing on which to further entrench our South African sales success,” he said. 

The assembly would be supported by the expansion of Mahindra’s products and services. 

Mahindra South Africa has not yet disclosed where its assembly plant will be located.

 There has been speculation over the past few years that Mahindra would assemble one or more of its models in the planned new greenfield multi-model vehicle manufacturing plant in the East London industrial development zone that was to be operated by an outsourced assembler.

 However, industry sources have indicated the pick-up will be assembled in Durban. This week chief financial officer Avinash Bapat said Mahindra was gearing up for a new phase of growth and expansion in South Africa.

 “Measured in terms of our sales over the past five years and removing smaller brands with annual sales of less than 1000 units, Mahindra is one of the five fastest-growing brands in South Africa,” he said. 

Mahindra, a dominant manufacturer of sport utility vehicles and pick-ups in India, achieved year-on-year growth of 12.7percent in its financial year to March this year, representing a compound annual growth rate of 19% over the past two years.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE