No Mahindra SUV in US; market entry via Ssangyong stable

Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is keen to enter the SUV market in the US but will do so with the vehicles of its South Korean arm Ssangyong and not under its own brand.

New Delhi: Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is keen to enter the SUV market in the US but will do so with the vehicles of its South Korean arm Ssangyong and not under its own brand.

"Yes, we want to be in US, and if we are in the US we want to be with Ssangyong, not with Mahindra SUVs," Mahindra & Mahindra Executive Director (Automotive and Farm equipment sectors) Pawan Goenka said.

He said it would be difficult to justify trying to launch two brands in US as the cost involved is very high.

"So, therefore in the foreseeable future we do not see a Mahindra brand and a Ssangyong brand coming in as a four-wheeler SUV category," Goenka said.

Explaining the reasons for targeting the US market only with Ssangyong, which had last week launched its compact SUV Tivoli, he said: "For us to create a business case, this product has to be in US... The next product, which is the new Rexton, also has to be a product that will work in the US.

"So, if we can get these two products, the B-segment Tivoli and the D-segment Rexton, then I think we can be in the US."

Goenka said, however, the company is undertaking a study of the US market before finalising the course of action.

"Right now, whether we will or will not (enter US) depends on what is the outcome of the current investigation that we are doing, on whether we have the right product and can we sell it at a right price," he said.

Mahindra had planned to enter the US market with its Scorpio pick-up in 2009 but ran into trouble after repeated delays and was dragged to the courts by its erstwhile sole distributor Global Vehicles.

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