Automotive manufacturer Mahindra South Africa is planning to invest R150-million in the next two to three years, as it starts rolling out a series of expansion projects this year.
Mahindra was expanding its network to more than 40 dealers across the country and was planning on opening between ten and 12 dealerships within the next 18 months, the company announced.
?There are already concrete plans to launch a range of new Mahindra products and businesses in South Africa in the near future,? said Mahindra South Africa CE, Vijay Nakra.
Mahindra South Africa is also spearheading the India-based group?s expansion into sub-Saharan Africa.
The first Mahindra dealership in Namibia opened its doors in 2006, and the company was looking to establish dealerships in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the near future, which were seen as key to Mahindra?s expansion into the rest of Africa.
?We will be serving sub-Saharan Africa from South Africa and, as the volumes build up, based on long-term research and financial forecasting, we will consider assembling vehicles in SA,? said Nakra.
On the agricultural front, the company will introduce its first range of tractors in May at the annual Nampofestival, which will be available to the public from July 2007.
Mahindra & Mahindra is currently one of the top five tractor manufacturers in the world. The company is also in the process of planning the introduction of a 3,5-t medium-commercial vehicle that was due to be launched during the first quarter of 2008.
Plans were also in the pipeline to add a minibus to its South African product line-up, Mahindra said.
Further, the company would be launching the new Scorpio SUV in April, which will boast ABS brakes and a new-generation engine.
?We will also introduce airbags on our vehicles by the end of 2007,? said Nakra.