April 26, 2011 ·1 Comments
MUMBAI — The world’s largest tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra plans to set up assembly plants in Tunisia , Morocco , South Africa , Kenya , Ethiopia and Zambia , boosting its manufacturing prowess to ramp up presence in the fast-growing African economy.
At 9:45 am, shares of Mahindra & Mahindra were trading 1.49% down at Rs 756.20 on the Bombay Stock Exchange .
The auto major, which already has satellite plants in Gambia, Chad, Mali, Ghana & Nigeria for farm equipment, will use its facilities to assemble three-wheelers, light commercial vehicles and utility vehicle Bolero to drive volumes in an economy marked by rising disposable incomes.
“Africa is an opportunistic market. We are following the bottom of the pyramid products strategy where we will leverage our product portfolio, which includes three-wheelers, LCVs, Bolero, to grow further into the African market,” said Pravin Shah, chief executive, international operations, automotive and farm equipment sectors.
M&M plans to appoint a country manager, who will spearhead its fast-paced expansion plans in Africa. Further, a team of 7-8 people have been deployed in some key markets in the continent. The company, which gets 15% of its export volumes from Africa, plans to double its exports to the continent in a year.
“We are currently present in 24 out of the 53 countries and we are the only Indian tractor company, and among the few in the world that have helped set up tractor assembly facilities in Africa,” said Shah. India’s second-largest utility vehicle maker is tapping the local expertise to beef up its presence. Mali assembly plant was set up by New Delhi-based export house Angelique International with support from the local government.
Similarly, Angelique owns the Tchad assembly plant. “We have a strategy of growing through our partners, who understand the local market. Both these plants are creating jobs for local manpower, besides fuelling the agricultural growth,” said Shah. M&M has developed tractors with higher horse power for the African markets. “In a bid to address the lower-end segment, we have test marketed tractors from our Chinese ventures,” said Shah.
The Economic Times | 26 April, 2011Follow @somalilandpress
By Sahra Farah