Mahindra South Africa (SA) aims to sell more than 6 000 units this year, which will be a significant jump from last year’s new record of more than 5 500 units – a 26% increase on 2017 sales.
“We aim for more than 10 000 units by 2022, says Mahindra SA CEO Rajesh Gupta.
The real goal, however, is to break into the top ten new-vehicle sellers’ list in South Africa. The Indian manufacturer was at number 12 at the end of January, with brands such as Mazda and Suzuki sitting ahead of it in the rankings.
Already Mahindra has moved from number eight in the bakkie rankings, to number six.
“We are not very finicky about a specific number,” notes Gupta. “We want to keep the momentum going. We want to achieve holistic growth. We are passionate about the brand. We want to maximise every opportunity to be close to our customers and to understand their needs.”
Growing sales numbers have seen Mahindra SA face a bit of a capacity problem at its Durban semi-knockdown assembly facility.
The facility is currently working at its initial single-shift capacity of ten vehicles a day, but is looking to expand this to eleven or twelve vehicles per shift.
The operation, which employs 30 people, assembles the Mahindra Pik Up.
Assembly in Durban has allowed Mahindra to customise its bakkies for the South African market, with especially new ‘Karoo’ versions proving popular among local bakkie fans.
“We are now able to provide more value to a larger section of customers,” says Gupta.
He adds that Mahindra SA is gearing up to roll out its localisation programme, with the aim to ultimately increase local content on its Pik Up.
Products that could potentially be sourced in South Africa include wiring harnesses, headlights, catalytic converters, fabrics and chassis.
The new year will see the introduction of the XUV300 sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which is set to compete with the likes of the Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport.
Mahindra SA will also introduce fully automatic variants of the Mahindra Pik Up.
Automatic vehicles have grown in popularity in South Africa, expanding from 25% of the market in 2014, to 37% of the market in 2018.
SUVs also last year captured 20% of the market, up from 15% in 2014.
The Thar offroad vehicle will also see the introduction of the Adventure series, which will allow for increased customisation.
Mahindra SA plans to have four businesses in South Africa by the end of 2019.
The main automotive business is already supported by the sale of construction equipment, as well as Powerol generators.
Mahindra SA would have sold around 100 generators by the end of March, as well as a “double digit” number of back-hoe loaders by the same time, says Gupta.
Tractors and combine harvester are set to go on sale in South Africa this year, he adds.
Mahindra is the world’s number one tractor business by volume.