This move will place the two-wheeler business under Pawan Goenka, executive director and president (automotive and farm equipment sector) at M&M. “This realignment would help the two-wheeler business take advantage of synergies with AFS across the value chain including R&D, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, marketing and human capital,” the company said in a release.
There will also be a change of guard at the two-wheeler company. Current president Anoop Mathur will retire by March 31, 2014 and be replaced by Rajesh Jejurikar, chief executive (tractor and farm mechanisation). Jejurikar returned to M&M after a brief stint with the Zee group.
“Mahindra would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of Anoop Mathur, who has played a key role in building up the two-wheeler business since its formation in 2008 to its present state where it has presence in both the domestic scooter and motorcycle segments, and its products are being seeded in many international markets,” added the release.
M&M declined to elaborate on the move, stating further details will be shared at a later date. The company did not disclose whether Mahindra Two Wheelers will be amalgamated into M&M, just like the truck business was first de-merged and then amalgamated into the company.
“It will continue to be a legal entity,” said M&M in response to a query. Losses of the truck business, which was in partnership with US-based Navistar Inc, will be absorbed by M&M and also allow it to access funds within the group.
Having bought the business assets of Kinetic Motors in 2008, Mahindra Two Wheelers’ position in India has never been strong as it is today. The company, which initially struggled to gain a foothold in the fiercely competitive market, witnessed sales of 20,890 units last month — a growth of 157 per cent over 8,122 units sold in the same month last year. At present, Mahindra Two Wheelers has five scooters and two motorcycles in its line-up. The company claims it has 50,000 bookings for the recently-launched Centuro motorcycle. This a is re-entry into the motorcycle segment after the company was forced to pull out its only motorcycle brand a few years ago due to some issues with the gearbox.