SUV specialist Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is keeping the option open of getting external funding for powering its electric vehicle business though the company clarified that it is not is direct talks with any investor at the moment.
This is the second time that the Mumbai-based company is talking about bringing an investor on board for its EV business. In August 2020 the then managing director of the company, Pawan Goenka claimed that several suitors were in talks with M&M and some of them had even completed the due diligence process.
M&M was looking for $100 million (Rs 750 crore) in Mahindra Electric Mobility (MEML), one of the first companies formed in India that engaged purely in electric vehicles. But in March 2021, M&M merged the subsidiary MEML into itself to consolidate development, sourcing and manufacturing of EVs after it could not finalise a partner for the deal.
In a post earnings conference call Anish Shah, Managing Director, M&M said, “We are now open to looking at funding coming in from outside that will help us grow much faster. But it is not just for capital but also for any expertise that investors may bring in. In recent times we have seen expertise coming from private equity or other strategic partners.”
In 2021 three companies – Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company – formed separate subsidiaries to house their EV business unit. While Tata Motors, the current market leader in the passenger, four-wheeler EV segment, has already brought a couple of investors on board, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company are also understood to be either open on getting investors or are in talks with investors.
M&M has committed investments of Rs 3,000 crore over a three-year cycle for the EV vertical. This includes development of electric SUVs, electric quadricycle and electric small and light commercial vehicles. In all, the company is eyeing 16 EV launches in seven years.
“We have a fairly good position to get EV products to the market which we believe are very strong products and once we do that, we will have a greater momentum on the EV side. We are open to looking at investments, we just want to make sure we get to market with a great set of products that (could) give us the market leadership once again. We are open to all options because electric is going to be big and therefore, we are not closing any options,” Shah added.M&M does not have any electric passenger four-wheeler in continuous production though it was one of the first to get into this space post the acquisition of Reva Electric Car Company. Tata Motors, which entered the EV space a few years ago has a leadership position with a share of 70 percent. M&M, however, claims a more than 60 percent share of the electric three-wheeler segment.