Mahindra leverages Detroit tech center expertise with Marazzo
1st Sep 2018 11:05 am
Executive chairman Anand Mahindra says Detroit centre attracted right talent to overcome learning curve and collaboration has nurtured open culture.
Mahindra is betting big on the soon-to-be launched Marazzo MPV as it embarks on a renewed push to regain some lost ground in India's utility vehicle market.
Leaked images, spyshots and official teasers make it amply clear that the Marazzo will be unlike any other Mahindra and this has been achieved thanks to the collaboration with Mahindra North American Technical Center. In fact, the Marazzo is the first model from Mahindra to be developed jointly by the tech center in Detroit and the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai. Apart from a potentially strong product, the co-development has brought other gains for the company in the form of nurturing an open work culture, according to Anand Mahindra, executive chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra.
"The Marazzo has been designed as a collaboration between the Mahindra design studio and Pininfarina and the engineering was done entirely in Detroit. So you’ll see the culture of Mahindra is now one that is very open, very absorbent and very eclectic," Mahindra told Autocar India in an interview.
Mahindra says the tech center, which was inaugurated in 2012 in Detroit with an aim to support Mahindra's automotive ambitions as well as offer consultation to the company's clients in the region, attracted the requisite talent that enabled the automaker to overcome the steep learning curve as it embarked on developing a unique premium product for a new segment (Mahindra says the Marazzo is not a successor to the Xylo, but is instead a premium product positioned slightly above it).
"We opened the Detroit research centre to get the right people in place because we knew that there was enormous amount of knowledge in the engineers who were laid-off during the recession in the US. We were able to find them an opportunity to work and the world will see the first outcome of that investment in the newly launched Marazzo," he said. The Marazzo has also benefitted from a stronger ecosystem due to a large share of its development in Detroit, also known as an automotive hub.
Establishing Pininfarina Automotive as a standalone entity, which just showcased a design model of its 1900hp electric hypercar PF0, also follows a similar strategy of using different teams and leveraging synergies with group companies. With the exception of company managing director Pawan Goenka, the start-up has a completely new team led by ex Audi India chief Michael Perschke.
It is evident that the carmaker has pulled out all stops to ensure that the Marazzo generates a strong pull, unlike M&M's earlier models such as TUV300 and KUV100. But will it be Mahindra's best car yet? It will be interesting to find out.
Also read: Mahindra Marazzo features explained