Marking the first new OEM to open a facility in Southeast Michigan in over 25 years, Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) is making a statement with its growing presence in North America as the company opened a new HQ and manufacturing operation in Auburn Hills on Nov. 20 in front of gathered media and local elected officials.
The new facility will produce an off-highway vehicle that will extend Mahindra’s current position in this growing segment. Designed and engineered by MANA, the vehicle promises to be unlike anything currently on the market. The company gave the media a teaser of the new vehicle that was covered up with a tarp as they unveiled the brand name, which will be called ROXOR. The vehicle’s official launch is set for early 2018.
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Automotive Division EVP Rajan Wadhera and MANA President and CEO Rick Haas participated in the facility inauguration along with Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence and U.S. Rep. Dave Trott. The event was also attended by elected officials, business leaders and Mahindra employees.
Anand Mahindra spoke to the media about why they chose Detroit and the U.S. for new investment.
“This is an exciting day for Mahindra, our terrific employees and Detroit. I couldn’t be prouder to be here to help open this new facility today,” he said. “This building opening represents our company’s growing presence in North America and locally in the Metro Detroit area where we have tripled our workforce during the past 18 months. We are committed to growing the Mahindra brand in North America and Michigan.”
While the company’s Off-Road Vehicle brand identity was unveiled, we are still waiting to see the vehicle, which is in the final stages of development.
“This expansion represents a milestone for us and for Michigan,” said Haas. “We started this operation with seven people four years ago – to be crossing the 250 mark is a testament to the hard work of our employees and what this region has to offer in terms of top automotive talent.”
MANA is part of a $230 million investment in Southeast Michigan that also includes a recently-opened warehouse and logistics operation in Pontiac and an existing prototype operation in Troy. In total, Mahindra has grown to 400,000 sq. ft. across three Detroit area facilities. Over the past 18 months, MANA will have tripled its workforce to 250. By 2020, additional planned projects will result in 400 more jobs and another $600 million in local investment over that same period. In addition, MANA will continue to provide Metro Detroit-based engineering support for new vehicle platform development for India and global markets.
Mana From Heaven?
MANA is ramping up its dealer recruitment efforts for the all-new ROXOR off-road vehicle. Launch is planned for March 2018, but the vehicle is already built and nearly in production phase. Dealers who were in attendance at the launch said they have already seen the ROXOR but are sworn to silence. We do know it’s going to be a completely different type of ROV than what is currently available on the market.
We’ve heard that MANA has already signed up nearly 100 dealers before the press launch. So if dealers can’t see the vehicle until they sign on, how have they signed so many?
“Our selling proposition is unique to the industry,” says MANA VP of Sales & Service Luc de Gaspe Beaubien. “We are offering larger dealer margins, true order-to-delivery systems and a solid dealer support infrastructure – all in place now. When our product hits the market, dealers who sign up now will be well poised to earn significant profits.”
MANA claims the new vehicle is unlike anything on the market and it will be assembled and supported at the 150,000-sq.-ft. facility in Auburn Hills. Mahindra plans to invest $1 billion in the state of Michigan, including the support for this new powersports product and launch effort.