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M&M to centralise R&D in TN


Utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is planning to make Tamil Nadu its hub of research for its automotive business, according to a senior official.

The company also said its new Reva was getting ready and was expected to be launched by the end of this financial year.

Pawan Goenka, president (automotive and farm equipment sectors), M&M said the company was committed to invest Rs 1,800 crore in Tamil Nadu over the next seven years.

“Earlier, we were planning to set up a tractor facility at Cheyyar. Now, that idea was dropped since the land will not be enough. Instead, we will set up a testing facility and an automotive plant,” he said, while ruling out any plans to establish a two-wheeler facility in the site.

“As part of Phase-I, we will invest Rs 100-150 crore to set up the testing facility,” Goenka said on the sidelines of a curtain-raiser press conference of the Society of Automotive Engineers (India) in Chennai. The society is holding the three-day APAC-16 in the city from October 6.

Goenka further said that the company was planning to centralise its research activity for tractors and automotive at the Mahindra World City near Chennai.

“We have so far invested around Rs 600 crore in the facility. The plant currently employs 750 and the head count will be doubled soon,” he said.

Commenting on the industry performance, he said the current slowdown was a concern and was hoping that it will only be for the short term.

“If the slowdown continues beyond 4-6 months, the industry will be affected,” Goenka said.