Mahindra and Mahindra has been among the largest sports utility vehicle (SUV) makers in the country, but in the recent years, it has been facing tough competition from brands like Kia, Hyundai and MG.
Now, the company is setting up a new, advanced design centre in the UK, as it looks to sharpen its design focus and launch new, distinctive products, aiming to get its mojo back.
The new Centre of Excellence (COE) will be a part of the Mahindra Global Design Network that includes its design studio in Mumbai and the Turin, Italy-based Pininfarina Design, which it had acquired a few years ago.
Mahindra Advanced Design Europe, which will come up in the Coventry region of West Midlands, UK, is a strategic enhancement of Mahindra’s global design capabilities and renews its commitment to bring to its customers, sophisticated, authentic SUVs with an unmissable presence, the company said.
"M.A.D.E will further sharpen Mahindra’s distinctive product designs and differentiated technology offerings to further its safe, thrilling, yet efficient connected car experiences," it said.
A report on Thursday said Pratap Bose, who was till recently design head at Tata Motors, was likely to lead this design centre in the UK. However, there was no official confirmation on that front yet.
Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director at M&M, said a key lever to making its automotive business future-ready was to significantly strengthen design capability across automotive, farm equipment and two-wheelers globally.
"M.A.D.E will contribute to all future automotive and mobility products, including Born EV (electric vehicle) SUVs, and be a resource available to Mahindra Group companies. It will give us a quantum leap in both capacity and capability in the design space," said Jejurikar.
The new design studio will be operational from July 1, 2021.
Mahindra sold 1,55,530 utility vehicles in the year ended March 2021, down 13 per cent from a year ago. The company is set to launch its flagship SUV XUV700 later this year.