Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Ltd launched a new semi-knockdown assembly plant within Dube TradePort special economic zone (SEZ) at KwaZulu-Natal. The facility costing R95 million will produce Mahindra’s Pik-Up range of single and double-cab bakkies. Once the plant is operational fully, it will have a capacity to produce 4,000 vehicles a year.
During the launch, Sihle Zikalala, member of the executive council (MEC) for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs welcomed the investment and commented, “As the provincial government, we are committed to support the expansion of the vehicle manufacturing sector in South Africa. We welcome Mahindra’s decision to establish its world-class assembly facility within Dube TradePort SEZ and we look forward to supporting their growth as they expand their export reach into the rest of the African continent and widen their local sourcing of parts and components.”
Mahindra’s development strategy is centered on using their facility in Durban to supply new vehicles to the entire African market, the company has committed to sourcing 40 percent of the components of its Pik-Up range from local component suppliers.
Rajesh Gupta, CEO, Mahindra South Africa, opined, “The assembly of the Pik-Up is a very important step, but it remains only the first step in our long-term plan that will see us increase employment, local sourcing, content and the complexity of our assembly facility in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Further he commented, “Mahindra has grown significantly since the launch of its first models in South Africa. In the last five years alone, it has grown its market share by a compound annual growth rate of over 4.6 percent a year, which puts us in league of five fastest growing company in the same period. Much of this growth was achieved in a declining market which indicates our increased acceptance and popularity in South African market.”
Mahindra’s in partnership with AIH Logistics will operate Durban semi-knockdown plant. “Training and skill development is going to be a special focus area going forward. We believe in the fact that to ensure best of the engineering and quality we will have to keep investing into nurturing highly skilled workforce here at South Africa” said Dempsy Naidoo, chairman, AIH Logistics.