Mahindra, India’s best-selling utility vehicle manufacturer, made its official revival in the Philippines last week with the brand re-launch held at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel in Mandaluyong City.
The leading Indian brand will be distributed in the country by Asianbrands Motor Corporation (AMC), a new firm under automotive giant Columbian Group of Companies (CGC).
Unknown to many, Mahindra had been in the Philippines since the 1990s selling commercial and farm vehicles. The brand is well known in rural areas because of is affordability and dependability.
Recently, Mahindra made headlines after it won the contract in supplying the country’s police force nationwide with patrol vehicles. Through AMC, 1,470 specially-configured Mahinda Boleros (rebadged as the Enforcer) pick-up trucks will be supplied to Philippine National Police. Many presumed the deal was highly questionable because of their unfamiliarity with the brand.
But Mahindra is one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in India, which has been in operation since 1945. In 1948, it started producing multi-purpose and light commercial vehicles and progressed into manufacturing automobiles, pick-up trucks, SUVs, tractors and motorcycles. The brand has a global presence worldwide and is sold in 40 countries. At present, Mahindra owns assembly plants in China, the United Kingdom and three plants in the United States. Recently, it acquired South Korea’s SsangYong Motor Company and purchased a controlling stake in REVA Electric Car Company. Last year, Mahindra was ranked the 10th most trusted brand in India.
AMC is headed by Felix Mabilog, the erstwhile leader of other CGC brands Kia and Peugeot.
During the launch, Mabilog announced the brand’s aggressive expansion plan in the country with the simultaneous opening of three new dealerships in Luzon, including one along Quirino Avenue in Manila City, along Quirino Avenie in Pasay City and along the Alabang-Zapote Road in Las Pinas City. Complementing the Luzon network will be three more dealerships specifically Cebu in the Visayas region, plus Cagayan de Oro and Butuan in Mindanao, which will be opening in the next two months.
Having been in the automotive industry for decades, Mabilog revealed how much trust and confidence he has in the Mahindra brand. With that, Mahindra shared how he wanted to provide budding Filipino entrepreneurs with a better product that will more than cater to their transport and hauling needs, but at a much reasonable price.
The AMC president revealed that they are not directly competing with the products of the Japanese and American brands, which are designed more as lifestyle vehicles. According to Mabilog, Mahindra vehicles are rugged, versatile and real workhorses that will provide indefatigable hauling and transporting service for Filipinos in all types of road conditions.
He added the company considers after-sales service as an integral part of the brand’s operations. “Even before the first Mahindra vehicles were shipped to the Philippines, we made sure that we had a complete stock of spares and that all of our mechanics nationwide had been fully trained to service the Mahindra vehicles,” Mabilog said.
Pravin Shah, president and chief executive of Automotive Division and member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., for his part said, “We are very pleased with how Mahindra has rapidly expanded its dealer network here. In the months and years to come, it is our vision to further expand and strengthen the presence of Mahindra in the Philippine automotive market.”
Initially, Mahindra will offer two models, the Enforcer and the Xylo multi-purpose vehicle. The Enforcer is available in two body styles: a single cab and double-cab versions. Both variants are powered by a 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with a maximum power output of 100 horsepower and 240 Newton-meters of torque. The Enforcer’s payload capacity is 825 kilograms for the double cab 4×4, and 1,025 kg for the single cab 4×2. The Enforcer has a ground clearance of 185 millimeters and has a 56-liter fuel tank capacity. The price of the Enforcer is P650,000 for the single cab 4×2, P795,000 for the single cab 4×4, P750,000 for the double cab 4×2 and P895,000 for the double cab 4×4.
Meanwhile, the Xylo is available with either a seven or nine-passenger seating configuration. The MUV is powered by a 2.2-liter mHawk turbo-diesel engine with 120 hp and 280 Nm of torque, which is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The Xylo is priced at P850,000.