The Mahindra Research Valley (MRV) at Chennai, which is the key research wing of $16.2 billion Mahindra Group, is developing four new platforms for the Group's automotive business. The platforms are for small commercial vehicle, utility vehicle, SUV and LCV. Besides, the company is also planning to set up a test track for tractors.
Pawan Goenka, executive director and president of Automotive & Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd told Business Standard that works to develop vehicles in four platforms are being taken up in the valley and they (vehicles based on the new platforms) will start getting launched in calendar year 2015 and from then over the next years the company would have launched all the four new platforms
They include small commercial vehicle, as well as Utility Vehicle (UVs) and Sports Utility Vehicle (SUVs). The Research Centre is also working on a Light Commercial Vehicle, which will be based on a new platform.
“This will be completely a new vehicle, works have started and it will take 3-3.5 years to launch the product, which will take on Tata's offerings,” said Goenka. He refused to share any other details on the new platforms.
He added, anything below 3.5 tonne is designed in this MRV and above 3.5 tonne will be at Pune.
“Truly this is centre of excellence, besides bringing out new innovative products, this centre also helps to shorten the development cycle,” he said.
All Mahindra's tractor and automotive (not truck and two-wheelers) are being developed in this valley, located at Maramallai nagar on the outskirts of Chennai. The lush green Valley spread over in 124 acres of land, of which 25 acres were utilised to set up design lab, workshops and others, is located inside Mahindra World City, which is also major home for companies like BMW, Timken, Husky and others.
Some of the successful products which were developed in this Research Valley are Mahindra XUV 500, Mahindra Quanto, Mahindra Verito and on the tractor segment Arjun 605 inline pump and Mahindra 5530 and all these products were successful.
The company invested around Rs 600 crore in this facility and this does not include around 1,000 crore to development a product, which goes mainly on the manufacturing, notes Goenka.
With about 2,500 people engineers this facility, which was inaugurated about five years back, so far filed 250 patterns in India, over 50 in abroad, 150 design registration in India and over 50 in overseas.
The MRV which has a testing facility for its four automotive business, soon will have a test track for tractors, besides a technical academy is also coming up inside the valley for capacity building.
The automotive major claims that its facility near Chennai is the World class R&D centre in South Asia.
The automotive major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is planning to launch new products to cater the farm equipment sectors. The company also said it is planning to double its revenue from this segment.
Pawan Goenka, executive director and president of Automotive & Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd told Business Standard that “we have been a small player and now we have put in lot of focus on the harvester, transplanter”.
The company is planning to launch rice transplanter, rotavators and other new products, he added.
The Group, which is active in the agriculture sector with its range of tractors offerings and Goenka said it want to offer a “comprehensive package” to this sector including products and services.
At present the segment contributes around Rs 200-250 crore over the next two years this would be doubled.