Johannesburg - Mahindra South Africa will soon announce details of a local assembly facility for certain Mahindra vehicles for the local and export markets.
"For the next step in our strategy of becoming a truly South African automotive player, we will start with the assembly of the Mahindra Pik-Up on local soil,” says Rajesh Gupta, the newly appointed CEO of Mahindra SA.
Gupta said this will offer the company a sound footing on which to further entrench its South African sales success, but didn’t say in what volumes the Pik-Up one-tonner bakkie will be built. Mahindra's move to local vehicle manufacturing will be supported by the expansion of its range of products and services in South Africa.
The Indian vehicle manufacturer - which is the dominant manufacturer of SUVs and pick-ups in India – says it has shown a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% in SA over the past five years, driven in part by its rapid introduction of new models such as the Mahindra KUV mini-SUV, the TUV 300 and the upgraded Pik-Up range.
The new Mahindra Pik-Up is available in a choice of single- and double-cab models and it has helped Mahindra improve its standing in the bakkie ranks by appealing to both the leisure and commercial markets. In the last year alone, Mahindra has moved from eighth to sixth place in the overall pick-up sales figures.
"Since entering the market in 2004, Mahindra has slowly and organically grown its market share and reach in South Africa and neighbouring countries," says Gupta.
"In the past two years, however, we have more aggressively introduced new models and extended our reach in Southern Africa in step with our long-term strategy of becoming a significant African automotive player."