Mahindra South Africa has begun operation at its new vehicle-assembly plant at the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone in KwaZulu-Natal, where it will assemble the complete range of Mahindra Pik Up single- and double-cab bakkies – its single best-selling commercial vehicle.
The facility represents an initial investment of R10 million in facilities and equipment. According to Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa, the decision to assemble vehicles in Durban follows the company’s exceptional growth since it first established an office in South Africa in 2004.
“Mahindra has grown significantly since the launch of its first models in South Africa. In the last five years alone, it has grown its market share by a compound annual growth rate of over 4,6 percent a year, which puts us in a league of the five fastest-growing companies in the same period. Much of this growth was achieved in a declining market, which indicates our increased acceptance and popularity in South Africa,” says Gupta.
“Our (current) focus is on the bakkie segment, where Mahindra is now one of the six best-selling bakkie brands in South Africa,” he adds.
The new facility will have an annual capacity of 2 500 Pik Ups on a single shift, which can be increased to 4 000 of these units per annum, or any other Mahindra vehicle can be added. The state-of-the-art facility is equipped with advanced quality-testing equipment.
Gupta concludes: “The assembly of the Pik Up is a very important step, but it remains only the first step in our long-term plan that will see us increase employment, local sourcing and content as well as the complexity of our assembly facility in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Mahindra has set its aim on sourcing 40 percent of the components, measured by value, of its Pik Up range from local component suppliers. It has already started with this project and hopes to announce more details soon.