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Mahindra set for UK return

Indian motor manufacturer Mahindra will return to the UK by the end of this year with a new SUV and pick-up.

“We have a shortlist of importers and will make a decision on who we will go with by the end of the summer,” said Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra & Mahindra’s automotive sector.

Mahindra pulled out of the UK more than a decade ago, admitting now that its products then just weren’t up to UK standards. Today, the company has a new 4x4, the Goa, which has been developed in-house and is available as a full-size SUV and a pick-up, branded Pik-Up. It also has an MPV under development which is due for launch in mid-2008.

The move to the UK is part of Mahindra’s global expansion. “We want to be known as a global SUV brand,” said Anand Mahindra, managing director of M&M. That means SUVs, MPVs and utility vehicles. “We don’t want to get into passenger cars but I do want us to be in the top three as a global SUV brand.”

The company has already started selling Scorpio in Spain, France and Italy. Mahindra describes the diesel-engined Scorpio as a “pick up for farmers and an SUV for those who live in the country”.

The backlash against 4x4s is “an opportunity for us – we want to become a leader in hybrids and alternative fuels and at the moment diesel SUVs are at the heart of our business,” says Mahindra.

Mahindra’s other major ambition is to move up the world tractor pecking order. “We are number four now and want to be number one. We are already having great success in Australia and the US,” said Mahindra.

Tractor output is currently 100,000 units per year and Scorpio production 175,000.

The Goa has been designed in-house and is available as an SUV or pick-up.

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