Mahindra to assemble vehicles in South Africa

Mahindra commercial vehicles

Mahindra’s decision to assemble vehicles locally follows the company’s exceptional growth since it first established an office here in 2004.

The new vehicle assembly facility for Mahindra vehicles is located in the Dube Tradeport Special Economic Zone (SEZ) next to the King Shaka Airport in KwaZulu-Natal. Here the company will assemble the complete range of Mahindra Pik Up single- and double cab pick-ups, which they previously imported in fully built-up form from India.

The facility represents an initial investment of R10 million and will employ 25 South Africans from the surrounding area. In setting up the facility, Mahindra partnered with AIH Logistics, a level 2 BBBEE-manufacturer.

According to Mahindra, the assembly facility will have an annual capacity of 2 500 Pik Up vehicles on a single-shift production. Its modular design easily allows for an increase of production to 4 000 units per annum or the addition of any other Mahindra vehicle, such as the Genio or Bolero pick-up.

Mahindra has also indicated that they would be interested in using the facility to expand its range of other products, with the possible assembly of some of its industrial power equipment in its Mahindra Powerol range, or later even adding vehicles or equipment from its global range of yellow metal construction equipment or tractors and other farming equipment.

According to Mr Rajesh Gupta, the CEO of Mahindra South Africa, the decision to assemble vehicles in Durban follows Mahindra’s exceptional growth since it first established an office here in 2004.

“Mahindra has grown significantly since the launch of its first models in South Africa. In the last five years alone, it has grown its market share by a compound annual growth rate of over 4.6% a year, which puts us in a league of the five fastest growing companies in the same period. Much of this growth was achieved in a declining market, which indicates our increased acceptance and popularity in the South Africa market,” says Gupta.

The assembly of the first South African Mahindra Pik Up models have already started, but production will ramp up to a steady pace of around 200 units per month in the next two months.

To support the local assembly facility, Mahindra has added state-of-the-art quality testing equipment to ensure that this plant offers products that meet and exceed Mahindra’s strict quality standards for all locally produced vehicles.

At the opening of the Mahindra assembly facility on 25 May, the company also announced that it will seek to deepen its investment in South Africa by localising at least 40% of the value of the range of locally assembled Pik Ups. The company said that it aims to convert the local assembly facility into a full manufacturing facility that could also export vehicles to the rest of Africa in due course.

Quick look – Mahindra Pik Up

The new Mahindra Pik Up was introduced to South Africa in October last year and has since become the company’s best-selling model.

The range consists of three single-cab models and two double cab models, all equipped with Mahindra’s updated mHawk turbodiesel engine of 2.2 litres. This engine is rated at 103kW at 3 750rpm and delivers 320Nm of torque between 1 500rpm and 2 800rpm.

All models are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, a full size spare wheel with lock and a mechanical diff lock.

At the entry level, Mahindra offers the S4 4×2 single-cab Mahindra Pik Up, which loses the colour-coded bumpers and door handles in favour for a very attractive entry price. This model has proven very popular in the agricultural sector and for small businesses, thanks to its easy maintenance and 1 195kg load capacity.

Next up is the S6 in 4×2 or 4×4. The latter is fitted with a transfer case for full low range capabilities and both S6 single-cab models have air conditioning, power steering and power windows and luxuries such as keyless entry.

All single cab models are rated to tow up to 2 500kg.

The Mahindra Pik Up double cab range is called the S10 and it is available in a choice of 4×2 and 4×4 models.

Like the single cab models, the double cab S10s are equipped with a six speed gearbox, a low range transfer case for the 4×4 model. It can load 1 095kg on the 4×2 model and 995kg for the 4×4 model and also tow a braked trailer of up to 2 500kg.

The S10 double cab model is fitted with luxuries such as an automatic air conditioning system, electric windows, and a touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth cell phone connectivity and follow-me-home headlamps.

Pricing for the Pik Up range starts at R189 995 for the S4 single cab. The 4×4 S10 double cab model costs R357 995. Most models are sold with a 5-year / 90 000 km service plan and 4 year / 120 000 km warranty.