Motoring News

Mahindra makes good on promise of SA bakkie assembly

  • Durban facility to assemble Pik Up range
  • Aim is to source up to 40% of value locally
  • SA the base for all-Africa export hopes
MAHINDRA PIK UP DOUBLE-CAB. Image: Mahindra SA / Quickpic
MAHINDRA PIK UP DOUBLE-CAB. Image: Mahindra SA / Quickpic

DURBAN, Natal – Mahindra SA is to assemble its vehicles in South Africa at the Dube TradePort adjacent to the Durban’s city’s airport.

The Indian company will assemble the complete range of Mahindra Pik Up single- and double-cab bakkies after an investment of around R10-million in facilities and equipment.

Rajesh Gupta, Mahindra SA’s CEO, told The Corner in a media release: ”The decision to assemble in Durban followed the companys exceptional growth since it established a South African operation back in 2004.”

MAHINDRA PIK UP DOUBLE-CAB. Image: Mahindra SA / Quickpic
MAHINDRA PIK UP DOUBLE-CAB. Image: Mahindra SA / Quickpic

He added: ”Mahindra has grown significantly through the past five years. Market share has grown at a compound annual rate of more than 4.6% a year – that’s makes us one of the five fastest-growing companies in the same period.

”Much of this was achieved in a declining market – a further indication of our increased acceptance and popularity in SA.”

READ MORE Mahindra features on Carman’s Corner

The plant will have an initial annual capacity of 2500 bakkies on a single-shift production line – a very modest 10 units a day, given a five-day week. This could, however, grow to 4000 a year with the addition of another vehicle model.

The facility is said to be equipped with very advanced quality-testing to monitor production against South African requirements..

The new Pik Up range was introduced to South Africa in October 2017 and is now company’s best-selling commercial vehicle. It is available as an S2 single-cab (4×2 and 4×4 derivatives) and S10 double-cab with the same drive options.

‘FIRST IN A LONG-TERM PLAN’

Trial production will start this month (May 2018) and enter full production in July 2018. In this phase it will employ 25 full-time staff on one shift.

Mahindra SA already supports other African countries in the SA customs union and hopes to grow its reach throughout sub-Saharan Africa with South Africa as its HQ.

Gupta added: “Pik Up assembly is a very important step but only the first in our long-term plan that will increase employment, local sourcing, and content as well as the complexity of our assembly facility.”

Local content will be around 40%, measured by value, for the Pik Up range.

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