Electric vehicles, petrol engines and connected vehicles will be among the key technology focus areas for Mahindra & Mahindra in the wake of changing business landscape, the company has said. In its annual report for 2018-19, the company's board told the shareholders that Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has earmarked Rs 500 crore for its electric vehicle (EV) project under the new EV policy of Maharashtra government.
The new EVs under development include electric versions of SUVs KUV100 and XUV300, the report said.
"The business landscape is changing rapidly and so are the enablers for success. What has been the winning combination in the past, is no more a winning formula today and in times to come," it said.
While getting the right product at the right cost through an efficient channel worked in the past, the company said, "Going into the future, the product, the cost and the channel will be essential, but not sufficient. Much more will be needed to win at the marketplace. The winning mantras are going to be around providing a solution, delivering an experience and having a purpose."
The growing concerns over air quality, road safety, sustainability and urban congestion, among consumers and society at large, are driving the regulations and policies for motor vehicles and urban development, it said.
"These will impact choice of fuel, ownership patterns and will have a significant impact on the future of the automotive industry," M&M added.
The company said that with an objective to sustain growth, it was pursuing several strategic initiatives in all key areas of business, which includes strengthening the product portfolio, refreshing and updating existing products and strengthening research and development (R&D) and technology capabilities.
"Technology focus areas are around gasoline engines, emission, safety, connected vehicles and electric vehicles," it said, adding the company was also pursuing expansion in overseas markets.
In a connected vehicle, internet as well as other technologies, such as bluetooth, are used to establish communication with the vehicle.
Stressing on the importance of EVs, especially with the government's push for the technology, M&M said it continued to focus and invest in development of new products and advanced technologies specific to electric vehicles. "Keeping in mind the needs of the future, (the) company is developing the EV versions of the KUV100 and the XUV300," it said.
Specifically, on the front of EVs, M&M said it is investing over Rs 500 crore under the new EV Policy of the Maharashtra government. "This investment will be utilised towards product development and capacity enhancement for electric vehicles and related components," it added.
In 2018-19, M&M said it along with its subsidiary Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd (MEML) sold a total of 10,276 EVs, 1,811 four-wheelers and 8,465 three-wheelers, as against 4,026 EVs in the previous year.
M&M also said that as part of its agreement with Ford, the two partners would jointly develop connected vehicle solutions to be deployed across their products. Moreover, in April this year, the two partners have also agreed co-development of a mid-size SUV on Mahindra platform, under which M&M will also manufacture and supply the new vehicle to Ford.