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M&M has a rocky start in 2008 with Chrysler tie-up hitting a dead-end

By Motortrend India Staff   |   07 January,2008

Mahindra&Mahindra saw disappointment as it exited the Land Rover and Jaguar bid. This was closely followed by the company's decision to distance itself from the three-way partnership with Nissan and Renault for the small car manufacturing project. Now it seems that the intended tie-up with Chrysler has hit a roadblock.

Chrysler, a leading American passenger car manufacturer, after splitting with its European partner Daimler in 2007, is looking to enter the Indian market by way of either partnership with an Indian automaker like Renault or as an independent manufacturer. The US Company wants to design, develop, and manufacture car models, including small cars, to get a piece of the proverbial Indian auto market pie.

The company was once part of the famous Daimler-Chrysler group that manufactures and imports various Mercedes-Benz cars in India. Interestingly, the company's connection to India is limited to transporting the Hyundai Santro to Mexico and other Latin American countries as 'Dodge Atos'.

Eager to partner with such a prestigious brand, M&M gave a detailed presentation to Chrysler's top management regarding Mahindra's market share, product portfolio, and its overseas activities in the month of November. M&M, a well-known Indian automobile manufacturer, has a wide range of products that even spreads across agricultural vehicles. Its largest success story in India has been its SUV - Scorpio.

Encouraged by the opening-up of markets, M&M is testing the more mature US and European markets with its Scorpio SUV. Main variants being exported are the Getaway pick-up and the V series that is powered by the powerful M-Hawk engine. The result of Mahindra's US and European foray is too early to predict.

It could be some more time before Chrysler decides to enter this country.

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