Durban - Mahindra’s Pik Up range is now being assembled in South Africa.

This follows the official opening of a brand new assembly plant near Durban, created in partnership with AIH Logistics following a R10 million initial investment.

Trial production kicked off earlier in May and the facility is expected to be fully on stream by July. 

Located in the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone next to the King Shaka Airport, the new facility - which employs 25 people - will initially have an annual capacity of 2500 vehicles on a single-shift production. The vehicles will be built from semi-knocked-down kits imported from India.

However, Mahindra SA says the facility has been designed to allow for increases in production to around 4000 units per year, and it could potentially also cater for other Mahindra vehicles in future.

For now though it will be assembling the complete range of Pik Up single cab and double cab bakkies - which is the brand’s best seller.

However, Mahindra SA’s Chief Financial Officer Avinash Bapat has hinted that assembly of other vehicles could follow at a later stage:

"We will start with the assembly of the Mahindra Pik Up range, but this does not mean that we could not, in future, add another pick-up or commercial vehicle or even one of our tractor models or heavy-duty power generator systems to the assembly line," Bapat said.

The company also plans to increase the complexity of the operation in the years to come, while also boosting employment and local sourcing, with the aim of eventually sourcing 40 percent of the components (in value terms) from South African suppliers.

IOL Motoring