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Mahindra's Indian Origin Not Questioned


by Stephen Walker


11th April, 2007

Mahindra Pikup

Three new automotive brand names will be introduced or re-introduced to the Australian vehicle market this year. There is America's Hummer, which will be imported from GM's South African assembly line and from the Czech Republic comes the local re-introduction of the highly regarded Skoda brand with a range of models. The third brand is Mahindra*. This brand, new to Australia, arrives locally in June with the rugged Mahindra Pikup as its sole model. Additional models may follow in time.

The importer, TMI Pacific, will be announcing the retail price structure and the dealer network at the vehicle's launch.

Interestingly, TMI Pacific asked questions of its field day participants a few months ago about the origin of the Mahindra. The Indian origin is viewed as having little or no concern amongst participants. This result is no suprise to me, given that the few products from Indian that are available in Australia are regarded well. The Indian way of business suggests value is appreciated, implying that production costs and profits are balanced. That way consumers obtain value from their acquisitions. The same is unlikely to said about products from China, for example, where profit motives force pressure on reducing costs (labour, material and production), thus supplying goods to the market with low cost and high profit and, therefore, poor value in so many cases.

“When we took the Mahindra Pik-Up to Australian National Field Days in Orange late last year, and continued to conduct further consumer research this year, we noticed that the origin of the vehicle was not a factor when commenting on whether they (the participants at the field days) would consider it the next time they were in the market for a light commercial vehicle,” says Michael Tynan, Chairman of TMI Pacific.

“We found that a massive 89% of the in-depth interview participants who test drove the car would quite likely to ‘definitely consider’ it in their next purchasing effort, particularly if the ute was to provide reliability, comfort and value for money.”

Attributes noted by these participants were the head and leg room, interior space, size of back tray, the ease of getting in and out, the body paint and finish, the performance and the versatility of use.

“It’s been very exciting for us to see the reaction from both consumers test driving the vehicle, and from our network of dealers, who we will be announcing shortly,” said Michael Tynan. “As we suspected, given the diverse origins of vehicles in Australia generally, the Mahindra’s Indian roots seem to be of least concern. The most important factor for consumers will be experiencing the vehicle, which will undoubtedly lead to a high level of consideration. So far we are very pleased with the response.”

* CORRECTION (16th April, 2007):
The Mahindra brand has had a presence in Australia. Mahindra was available in Australia during the early 1990s. Many thanks to the Queensland reader who pointed out this fact. Editor.

Other Mahindra content: here.

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