M&M to launch new tractor later this year

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) plans to launch a new tractor later this year - its first in seven years.

Dr Pawan Goenka, president, automotive & farm equipment sectors, said it had been a very long time since the company launched a new tractor.

The tractor would be designed at the newly inaugurated Mahindra Research Valley, near Chennai and built at the company's plant in Nagpur. However, the company would roll out tractors from its new Rs 300-crore facility in Jehirabad in Andhra Pradesh, after it is ready in July, he added.

The Chennai facility which was inaugurated yesterday is meant for automobile and tractor research. M&Ms sports utility vehicle, XUV500, was the first product to be designed and developed at the Valley.

The facility is housed over 125 acres inside the Mahindra World City, near Chennai at an outlay of Rs650 crore. Describing the Valley as ''a cradle of the group's future growth'', vice-chairman and managing director of the Mahindra group, Anand Mahindra said it would help the group's dream of making to the list of the world's top 50 most-respected brands.

The Valley, formally inaugurated yesterday by the former president, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, comprises 34 labs - an engine development centre, a fatigue test lab, alternative fuels, passenger safety and polymer technologies.