Mahindra unveiled its new corporate identity last month, as the 10,000th South African assembled Pik Up rolled off the line in KwaZulu-Natal. This significant milestone follows four years after Mahindra opened its South African assembly facility at the Dube Trade port Special Economic Zone outside Durban.
Speaking on the announcement, Sachin Arolkar, Head of International Operations, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Said, “It is a moment of pride to see the Pik Up roll off the assembly line, knowing that it has become a much-loved part of the South African bakkie market. We are fully committed to make South Africa our second home outside of India, and we look forward to further developing this facility to increase production volumes with higher local content and to also expand our reach into more countries in Africa.”
Mahindra South Africa first opened the Assembly Facility in May 2018, with a single assembly line and limited vehicle line-up. Since then, the facility has reached peak single-shift production and added several additional models, special editions, and customised vehicles, which it builds in partnership with the team at Mahindra Special Fitment Centre in Gauteng.
Speaking on the announcement, Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa said, “This is a significant milestone for Mahindra, our team and our partners. The past four years have been tough with the COVID pandemic, riots in KwaZulu-Natal, the recent floods that ravaged this province and the ongoing challenge with components and global shipping. Everyone who is involved in this project has shown an unwavering commitment to make the facility a success and to best serve our growing customer base. We celebrate this milestone with each one of them.”
Mahindra South Africa reached a new sales benchmark in the first quarter of 2022 when it averaged sales of more than 1 000 units a month, with the Pik Up leading the charge for the commercial vehicle division.
Indeed, the Pik Up has been one of South Africa’s fastest-growing bakkie models and a top-seller in the single and double cab market over the past four years. Demand for the Pik Up far outstrips supply, and Mahindra will soon expand its production to help shorten waiting lists.
“The facility has enabled us to adapt to market needs and to serve our bakkie customers faster. For instance, our special Farmer’s Edition sold out within days of its launch and our Karoo and new Karoo Dusk, Dawn and Storm models are now available, thanks largely to the local assembly facility,” said Rajesh.
Mahindra and its assembly partner, AIH Logistics, build a near-complete range of Pik Up models, including the highly popular Karoo and specialised models such as the Pik Up Ambulance.