Mahindra keen to make South Africa hub for its exports in the continent

Mahindra wants to make South Africa the hub of its exports into the rest of the Africa, a senior official of the company has said.

Arvind Mathew, Chief of International Operations at Mahindra & Mahindra, joined Rajesh Gupta, CEO of the company's local subsidiary, Mahindra SA, on Friday to launch two models in the 7500 series and three in the 6000 series of its tractors from its farming equipment range, which are very popular in India and several other countries.

Africa is the future agricultural base of the world, Mathew told reporters and farming sector representatives at the event in the heart of the farming community in North West Province.

In the15 years that Mahindra has been in South Africa, it is very well recognised in the automotive and information technology sectors, and today we are announcing our advent into this sector with our farming equipment, he added.

Alongside the two tractors, the guests were also introduced to the entire range of farm equipment, including Mahindra implements, Sampo Combines, and Hisarlar implements sourced from India, Turkey and Finland.

With the strong historical bonds between India and South Africa, we have embraced South Africa as our home outside India and have already established a strong presence in the automotive business.

South Africa will always be our base for Africa. We have our assembly plant in Durban and we have built our brand in automotive, he said.

Mathew was referring to a plant which was set up a year ago to assemble its Pik Up-range, that is now among the top six brands in this category in South Africa.

We have also seen initial success in our generators and construction equipment businesses. We feel this is the right time for us to introduce our wide range of farm solutions.

Gupta explained that extensive research across South Africa had shown that farmers wanted versatility, efficiency, reliability, comfort and good service, which matched exactly what the two models of the Mahindra range of tractors which were unveiled offered.

Mahindra is the world's largest tractor manufacturer by volume and many of our models are designed for markets that demand tough and efficient solutions which are also effortless to operate in harsh conditions.

Our initial market study shows that these attributes are in high demand in South Africa as well and we trust that it will find favour with our customers, he said.

Gupta said Mahindra South Africa was now among the fastest growing automotive brands in South Africa for its range of bakkies and SUVs in a market where the industry overall was going through a difficult time amid the economic slump in the country.