Mahindra History: Transforming Lives through Mobility and Innovation

Mahindra History: Experience Excellence on Wheels

1945 – 1950 – The Jeep of War

The brand’s history stems from KC Mahindra’s visit to the United States as the India Supply Mission president. After meeting Barney Roos, inventor of the rugged Jeep, Mahindra asks the question: Isn’t a vehicle that has proven its indestructibility on the battlefields of World War II ideal for challenging Indian roads and highways?

With this idea in mind, the brothers JC and KC Mahindra joined Ghulam Mohammed, a distinguished figure in Indian society, to found, on October 2, 1945, Mahindra & Mohammed. The company is a franchise dedicated to the assembly of jeeps from Willys (United States). Initially, only 10% of the components were manufactured in Asian countries. Two years later, India became an independent nation. Mahindra & Mohammed changes its name to Mahindra & Mahindra (the former partner emigrates to Pakistan, later becoming prime minister of Finance).

1951 – 1960 – Diversified manufacturing

Since 1954, the firm has collaborated first with Willys Overland Corporation and, later, with Jeep Corporation and American Corporation in the production of its Jeep. Two years later, the company is already listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. In 1958, Mahindra manufactured 5,500 units per year of the CJ-3B and CJ-4 models, a variant of the lengthened body exclusively produced for the local market. At the same time, it also obtains licenses for the construction of obsolete models in their countries of origin: Italian scooters, Royal Enfield motorcycles, Morris Oxford.

1961 – 1970 – 10,000 units per year

The decade begins with founding the International Tractor Company of India (ITCI), a joint venture with the American International Harvester Company and Voltas Ltd., a leader in tractors and agricultural machinery. On the other hand, Mahindra’s production exceeds 10,000 vehicles. Later, in 1962, M&M established the Mahindra Ugine Steel Company, dedicated to producing steel alloys. Three years later, the production of light commercial vehicles began, which were exported from 1969.

1971 – 1980 – New tractor division

In the 70s, the Mahindra Engineering & Chemical Products Ltd. Nagpur Tractor Plant produced agricultural implements and hydraulic control valves. As early as 1977, ITCI and Mahindra & Mahindra merge to become the second’s agricultural products division. On the other hand, the brand obtained two years later license from Peugeot to manufacture diesel engines at the Ghatkopar factory.

1981 – 1990 – An agricultural leader

In 1982 Mahindra was born as a brand of tractors; two years later, it already manufactures 18,000 vehicles a year. The firm has become the leader in the Indian tractor market, a position it maintains to date. Meanwhile, in 1983, the Igatpuri engine assembly plant was inaugurated. Two years later, Mahindra has also established itself as a leader in the production and marketing of 4×4 vehicles in India.

It also becomes the leading supplier of this type of car for the armed forces of its country. Finally, in 1986 Mahindra Telecom – formerly Mahindra British Telecom – was founded, a joint venture with British Telecommunications (BT) in telecommunications.

1991 – 2000 – Mahindra consolidates

In 1991, Mahindra went from importing kits to manufacture old Jeep to exporting them to Iran, which produced them after that. The company also diversifies its business areas: Mahindra Financial Services Limited (wholesale provider of funds); Mahindra USA Inc (US tractor dealer); Mahindra Ford India Limited (‘joint venture’ with Ford Motor Company for the manufacture of passenger cars); Mahindra & Resorts India Limited (tour operator); Mahindra Consulting (now Bristlecone), and Mahindra United World College India (university education). In addition, the firm continues its automotive tradition, collaborating with Mitsubishi in 1995 for the local production of the L 300 minivan.

2001 – Act – World expansion

With the new millennium comes the presentation of the Bolero, a simple pick-up with rear or integral wheel drive. At the moment, Mahindra is in the midst of growth and expansion with the creation and acquisition of new companies and the launch of products in all its sectors. 

Mahindra Tractors Receives Prestigious Deming for Excellence in Quality; likewise, the division is made with the manufacture of Jiangling tractors. At the same time, Mahindra International Limited was founded, a ‘joint venture’ with International Truck and Motor Corporation to produce trucks and buses in India.

For its part, Mahindra Stokes acquires the largest forgings company for automotive production in the United Kingdom. The brand signs an agreement with Renault that establishes in the Asian country a strategic association based in Greenfield, with a production capacity of 500,000 units per year within five years. The Indian company achieves the majority stake in Jeco Holding AG and the majority of the shareholders of Punjab Tractors Ltd. In 2002 it launched the Goa, a 4×4 called Scorpio in other markets with a 2.6 turbodiesel standard rail engine. 

A range of pick-ups with different types of bodywork and bathtub is derived from this vehicle, available since 2006. Two years earlier, the manufacturer reached one million units, and a plant for the assembly of the Bolero was established in Uruguay. Halfway between both events, in 2005, Renault Mahindra Limited was founded, a ‘joint venture’ for the Indian production of the Dacia Logan destined for the local market.

Shortly in July 2006, Mahindra’s commercial operations began throughout the Iberian Peninsula: its arrival in Spain took place with a network of 20 dealerships – later it will reach 40 – through the company Sino Motors, directed by Alfonso Saavedra. In 2007, the manufacture of models began in Egypt, which was later extended to Ghana. 

A year later, a plant for the assembly of Goa / Scorpios and pick-ups destined for their respective markets opened in Brazil. Finally, in 2009 Mahindra began its automotive operations on North American soil through an ambitious plan that included acquiring 789 points of sale that were previously Chrysler / Jeep / Dodge.

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