Ford forges engine, connectivity partnerships with Mahindra

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News
The Roxor, a new off-road utility vehicle, is being built by Mahindra North America in Auburn Hills.

Ford Motor Co. and Indian automaker Mahindra Group have reached two new agreements on engine-sharing and connected-vehicle programs.

The powertrain-sharing agreement signed Wednesday includes a plan for Mumbai-based Mahindra to develop and supply Ford India with a small gas engine for the Blue Oval to use in current and future vehicles for the Indian market beginning in 2020.

On connectivity, Ford and Mahindra have solidified plans to jointly develop a telematics control unit, which is the system in a car that controls tracking of the vehicle and can consist of GPS and mobile communications interfaces like Wi-Fi and LTE. 

The newest agreements with Mahindra come a year after the two automakers announced a three-year partnership in the Indian market — where Ford has struggled to turn a profit — that would include work on mobility programs, connected vehicles, electrification and product development. The companies signed five new memoranda of understanding earlier this year to develop midsize and compact SUVs as well as electric vehicles and connectivity programs.

Ford also signed a memorandum of understanding with German giant Volkswagen AG earlier this year with the intent of working jointly on commercial vehicles, efforts that are expected to focus on the regions of Europe and South America.

“We are pleased with the progress our teams have made since we announced our strategic alliance with Mahindra Group a year ago,” Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president and president of global markets, said in a statement. “With our collaboration in powertrain and connected car solutions, we will deliver an affordable portfolio and enable our Indian consumers to get behind the wheel, feeling more confident and connected."

Twitter: @NoraNaughton