Mahindra 2 Wheelers Inaugurates New R&D Facility


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Anand Mahindra innaugurated Mahindra2Wheelers' latest R&D facility in Pune today. This new facility will be used, among other things, to develop their own micro-hybrid scooter with start-stop capabilities. They are also working on 110cc and 300cc motors, of which the 300cc one is liquid cooled. These engines will go into production shortly. Apart from those, they are also working on engines between 110cc and 300cc which could just be derivatives of these engines. They also plan on looking into diesel powered two-wheelers, but before they make it to production, issues like NVH need to be sorted out.

Diesel isn't the only alternative on their mind though, they are also looking into producing electric scooters in the future with the help of Reva.
This R&D centre is the third largest centre of its kind in India and with an investment of Rs 100 Crores on the facility already and another Rs 500 Crore in the next five years, they hope to keep engineering new products and improving on the current ones.

The team at this new facility is not just a bunch of freshers, mind. Ashok, the head of R&D, is an Ex-LML man, so you know they aren't short on experience.
They will launch three new bikes in this financial year. The Stallio will be the first to come out, with a debut before the festive season while the Mojo will be launched in Jan-March 2013. All this will add to their current portfolio of Scooters like the Duro DZ and recently launched Rodeo RZ. Here's hoping for a few more options for prospective buyers.

Mahindra 2 Wheelers inaugurates new R&D facility
 
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Mahindra Two Wheelers, a fledgling subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra is targeting a turnover of Rs 20,000 crore by 2020 and sell 3-4 million units in the fast growing two wheeler market, that is slated to grow to 30 million units a year by 2020.

Inaugurating the R&D centre of Mahindra Two Wheelers in Pune, Anand Mahindra, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra said,
"There is a huge potential to grow in the two wheelers business. We are in this business for the long haul. We are not underestimating the challenge ahead of us and we know it is going to take a lot of hard work. We are committed to this business and we are investing in it. The new dedicated R&D is a step in that direction."
The R&D centre is being headed by P S Ashok, who was part of Mahindra & Mahindra's automotive R&D team which developed the small truck Maxximo. Ashok will manage a team of 175 engineers, which the company intends to take it up to 300 in a short span of time.

The state of the art R&D centre in Pune has been set up with an investment of Rs 80-100 crore. The company claims it is the third largest two wheeler R&D facility in India with recognition from Department of Science and Industrial Research. Multi-faceted R&D facility houses state-of-the-art Engine Development Center (EDC), vehicle design & development facility, testing facilities, prototype center, design studio, Fatigue Test Lab etc.

The R&D set up has already developed two new engine platforms - an entry level 110 cc engine and 300 cc engine. And the company said, going ahead one will many engine derivates spawning out of these platforms between 100 to 300 cc.

Mahindra said, the company will invest Rs 500 crore over the next five years in R&D for its two-wheeler business. The company has lined up four new products, which includes Rodeo RZ, a revamped 110 cc motorcycle Stallio, which the company withdrew from the market 18 months ago, a 300 cc premium motorcycle Mojo and yet another motorcycle during FY-13.

Mahindra Two wheelers have also completely revamped their two wheeler plant in Pithampur by setting up all new manufacturing lines for scooters and motorcycles and engine assembly lines.

The plant has a capacity of 1 million units, which people close to the company say, is likely to be utilised in the next two to three years, with new motorcycles rolling out soon.

M&M aiming for Rs 20,000 crore from two wheeler biz by 2020: Anand Mahindra - The Economic Times
 
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INTERVIEW WITH MAHINDRA 2 WHEELERS’ MANAGEMENT TEAM

Some large two-wheeler OEMs have had joint ventures and alliances. Will you also look at that route to grow?

Anand Mahindra: When we started off, we already had a collaboration with SYM which we inherited from Kinetic. We have visited them and found them to be good people with good technology. Don’t be surprised if technology flows the other way. To me personally, what will be a matter of pride is when we create technology in India which somebody else would want to buy. I feel the future of alliances will include two-way flow of technology. As far as new partners and alliances, nothing is in the anvil as of now. We have stated clearly that we are open.

Will you continue your partnership with SYM?

Anoop Mathur: There’s nothing as of now to say that it’s a finite partnership. What we have with SYM, in terms of engines or vehicles, is part of the legacy. Going forward, given the vastness of our plan, there may be an array of arrangements. The financial stake of SYM, if any, is through the Kinetic route. The SYM relationship is only licensing of technology arrangement. But the R&D centre is not all encompassing with everything under one roof. Likewise, we will be working with the best in class anywhere in the world, whether it is for styling, engine or whatever.

How would you differentiate your products from others?

VirenPopli: When you start looking from a customer’s point of view, you start looking very differently. We are looking at differentiating our products by looking at them from the customer’s point of view. Currently, the market is like the good old days of Henry Ford, where you can pick up any product as long as it is black. Our products are not about making in millions and selling them in any three colours. We are going down the route of segmented volumes.

Anand Mahindra: We want to redefine the way segmentation is happening. We don’t want to sell by the existing definition. Mahindra 2 Wheelers seems to be at an inflection point.

Three-and-a-half years ago, did you expect the incubation period to be this long?

Anand Mahindra: No. What is important is that we are building a learning organisation. We are here for the long run. Why we think we can make a mark, but I wasn’t underestimating the challenge. We knew it’s going to take a lot of hard work. We also knew that if anyone can crack the code and make a mark, then it is Mahindra, given that we have a brand, we have automotive technology, a rural brand, a network. We are here for the long run, we are a marathon runner. Would I have liked to have more success earlier? Yes.

How much of a change have you made in the Stallio?

Anoop Mathur: We are talking about at least two motorcycles of 110cc. In one sense, if you wish to call it a Stallio, you can call it a Stallio. It is a Stallio that has been completely re-invented and one that will be a pleasure vehicle to ride. Any association with the earlier Stallio is incidental.

Anand Mahindra: We withdrew it when we saw that it was not meeting what the market demanded; it was not due to any technical fault or glitches. It has been completely re-engineered. Now, what we are coming out with is a vehicle co-created with the customer.

Why did you set up the R&D centre in Pune, and not in Mumbai or Chennai?

Anand Mahindra: I don’t want to sound uncharitable, but I think it will be a stretch to say we inherited anything of substance, as far as R&D is concerned. R&D in the future is a network. MRV is a very important node. There are many such nodes. Nashik and Mohali are all nodes. Yanchang in China is a very important node for small tractors. SsangYong is a node.

Even though it is the third largest two-wheeler R&D centre in India on a standalone basis, if you think of us as a node, I would argue there’s no one who can rival the strength that Mahindra brings.

There may be other nodes, as two-wheelers grow. The average age in this centre is 31 years. They are part of the Pune ecosystem of two-wheeler riders. And there has been virtually zero attrition.

P S Ashok: This is also an important hub for vendors. There’s lot of scope for product development here. There’s ARAI and VRDE for example, with whom we do a lot of work. And we have the Chakan plant where we use the test track.

Will you list Mahindra 2 Wheelers on the bourses?

Anand Mahindra: We will not rule that out. Our focus now is on getting the product right. You know the Mahindra Group has a long tradition of accessing markets, of sharing wealth with investors. I don’t see why not. It’s not on the anvil right now. Another reason why we go public is because we want to share wealth with people in the company. Stock options are very much a key incentive and motivator for the people in the company. Will we eventually do it? Yes

http://autocarpro.in/contents/NewsDetails.aspx?NewsCategoryID=1&NewsID=1603
 
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Mahindra two wheelers aims at breakeven in FY15

Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd, a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, is aiming to break even in 2014-15.

"We hope for break even in 2014-15," Mahindra & Mahindra VP (sales, two wheelers) Dharmendra Mishra said here today at a roadshow of two new motorcycles with innovative features.

The company has pumped in Rs 100 crore for motorcycles and proposed another Rs 400 crore in the next four to five years, the company said.

Mahindra remained optimistic on the motorcycle segment and expected it would surpass scooters sales in the next fiscal.

In 2012-13, the company was projecting sales of 1.2 lakh units of scooters, Mishra said.

Mishra expected the motorcycle sector would register a double digit growth though the market shrank sharply in the past few months.

Mahindra expected to introduce four new models in scooters and motorcycles in 2013-14.

In the motorcycle segment the company would introduce 150 cc and 300 cc models.

Mahindra two wheelers aims at breakeven in FY15 - The Economic Times
 
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