M&M invests $6-7 million in new army vehicle

Mumbai: Sports utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra has invested $6-7 million in developing a new army off-roader ''Axe'', which it hopes to sell to the Indian and Israeli armed forces.

"The vehicle is being tested by the Israeli Army and would soon be tested by the Indian Army," M&M president (automotive sector), Pawan Goenka, said on the sidelines of the Society of Indian Automobiles Manufacturers'' annual convention.

He said commercial production of the vehicle would start once the company receives an order from the Indian Army. The company is sourcing the engine for the Axe from an Israeli firm and has no plans to develop its own engine for the off-roader.

M&M''s sales, including that of its recently launched passenger car, the Logan, has grown 37 per cent in April-August period and the company hopes to maintain this momentum for the remaining part of the fiscal.

Goenka said the Indian automobile industry is expected to grow at 10-12 per cent in the second half of the year and M&M would maintain the industry average.