Ford, Mahindra and FCA

“The global economy and business environment are not the same as October last year [2019].” That is what Ford spokesman T.R. Reid told Reuters as part of the explanation of why the automotive joint venture that Ford was going to be crafting with Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. has been called off.

October 2019 was when the companies announced they would be forming a JV that would focus on the development of vehicles especially for emerging markets.

COVID-19 has had an effect on those markets as well as, well, all markets. Consequently, the no-go between the two companies.

Ford has operations in India including the Chennai Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Engine Plant and Chennai Engine Plant.

India is part of Ford’s International Markets Group (IMG), which spans “100 emerged and emerging markets.”

Ford plans to operate in a status quo mode in India for the time being.

It should be pointed out that Ford’s current approach is to evaluate its operations the world over; it is “allocating capital in ways that advance Ford’s plan to achieve an 8% company adjusted EBIT margin and generate consistently strong adjusted free cash flow.”

Which is a heavy lift, even in a non-pandemic world.

Mahindra did have some good news of late, in that in late December the International Trade Commission decided that the 2021 Roxor—off-road vehicle, as in one that is not street-legal—doesn’t infringe on the “trade dress” of the Jeep Wrangler.

FCA, not surprisingly is not happy. Also not surprisingly, FCA is going to appeal.

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