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INDIA: Mahindra eyeing Europe R&D centre - report

By Dave Leggett | 2 December 2013

Reports in India suggest that Mahindra & Mahindra is aiming to set up a European research centre to boost its global product development capabilities. 

The Financial Express newspaper said that the company plans to access top talent and the latest in automotive technologies in order to design products for sophisticated automotive markets in North America and Europe.

The report also said that the new centre would 'most likely be based out of the UK' and that a  final decision is expected in the next few months.

It also said the centre would initially have 120-150 people with a “focus to develop a car completely from scratch”. 

The new R&D centre would complement M&M’s recently set up research & development (R&D) base near Chennai. M&M also has a small technical centre in Detroit, which largely focuses on tractors.

“The product development centre will primarily be for Mahindra products, because Ssangyong already has an ecosystem in place. It should take six months to a year to be operational once the final decision is taken. It is a question of extending our R&D with some kind of arrangement, maybe a company or subsidiary — we have to decide that. We are looking at the UK in a big way, but also France and Italy,” Rajan Wadhera, M&M’s chief executive for technology, product development and sourcing (automotive & farm equipment sectors), told the FE.

He added, “You have to be there if you want to be global and we need it for capability building. We want to be part of an ecosystem that is fully developed. They (in developed markets) have been working on cars for 100 years and we only have 10 years of experience. We don’t have the talent here, we won’t be able to scale up.”