|Ssangyong Rexton (courtesy AsianCarsBlog.com)|
Pawan Goenka, President Automotive and Farm Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, has recently stated that Mahindra could possibly install more powerful engines in its vehicles from recently acquired Ssangyong Motor Company (SYMC).
Ssangyong produces its own engines using technology and designs licensed from Mercedes-Benz. In fact, the Ssangyong Rexton CUV is effectively a Mercedes M-Class with a body styled by Italdesign and built in South Korea.
Mahindra plans to introduce the Ssangyong Rexton and Korando C models in India this year. Their plan has been to import complete knock down kits (CKD) from South Korea and assemble complete vehicles in their Indian factory. Recent changes to Indian import regulations concerning the definition of CKD kits, may force Mahindra to build Ssangyong engines on Indian soil in addition to assembling the complete vehicles.
|Korando C (courtesy Gradiliste.com)|
Goenka was recently asked by BSMotoring.com if the CKD definition change would force Mahindra to consider using Mahindra engines in Ssangyong vehicles for the India market.
“These products are of a higher horse power (bhp) category. Both Rexton and Korando C use a 175 bhp engine. We don't have an engine of that category. If these products using M&M engines, which is 120 bhp, they would be underpowered. So, it is very unlikely that we would consider a Mahindra engine for an SYMC product. However, the option of using SYMC engines in our products is certainly available to us. If we feel some SsangYong products need engines with lower horse power, M&M engines are easily available.” Pawan Goenka
Despite ongoing setbacks in Mahindra’s attempt to enter the US market with diesel pickups and SUVs, Mahindra’s consideration in using alternative or more powerful engines sourced from its complete corporate catalog could be an asset.
The US government sees Mahindra pickups as an imported vehicle. They are not going care if the engine in an Indian built vehicle comes from India or South Korea, as long as it meets safety and emissions criteria (they potentially face the Chicken Tax either way). Using the more powerful (and possibly more readily EPA compliant) SYMC engines could be a benefit to US Mahindra pickups if/when they arrive here.