NEW DELHI: Once a maker of fuel-guzzling diesel vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra is changing course and taking a bold bet on greens. The company will launch eight new electric SUVs — some under a new brand — over the next six years as it invests Rs 3,000 crore in sustainable mobility while staying open to private equity funding and strategic partnerships. The Anand Mahindra-led company — which was perhaps the first big auto company in India to look at electrics but failed to maintain the gusto thereafter — is extending the charge in electrics to its light commercial vehicle (LCV) range too where again it plans eight new EVs by 2026. Under the leadership of its new boss Anish Shah, the company has made it clear that it will not try to attract buyers with ‘soft’ offroaders but rather focus on what it terms as ‘authentic SUVs’, primarily built around its top brands — Bolero, Scorpio, XUV and Thar. Electric SUVs will likely give rise to another new brand. “A lot of work is going on (within the company) to prepare ourselves for EVs. We were the first ones to bet on greens, and have a lot of experience under our belt… arguably the best,” Shah, MD & CEO of M&M, said when asked about the plans in greens. He said he is “open” to getting in outside funds to power the EV business and even hiving off the greens portfolio into a separate subsidiary, something done by Tata Motors. “We are open to all options… we are open to funding from outside for faster growth… private equity and other strategic partners help us grow faster,” Shah said.
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