M&M, Ssangyong to launch SUVs in India

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), India's leading automaker, plans to launch two sports utility vehicles (SUVs) of Ssangyong Motors – in which it has a 70 per cent stake now – in the domestic market next year.

''The Indian auto market is growing substantially and we hope that will bring benefits to Ssangyong," Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director M&M, said in Goyang, a city near the South Korean capital, on Thursday.

He was speaking to reporters at the preview of Chairman H, the new version of its flagship sedan, at the Seoul Motor show.

Mahindra said the company was keen on launching Ssangyong's Korando and Rexton SUVs in India.

Though he declined to reveal the date of the launch, Mahindra said the two automakers were exploring joint marketing initiatives in different parts of the world. ''We think there are huge synergies for us to look at Africa, which is the next frontier for automobile growth,'' he added. ''Together with Ssangyong, we think we can make headway there.''

Pawan Goenka, president, automotive and farm equipment, M&M, said the roll-out of the new SUVs could take about a year. The company is working out the overall business plan for the launch, he added.