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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Ford and Mahindra call time on joint venture but not Blue Oval’s incoming SUV

Decision was reached amicably as a result of the impact brought on by the Coronavirus.

A joint venture announced in 2019 with the aim of producing several vehicles for the Indian and export markets, Ford and Mahindra have called an end to the partnership as a result of “fundamental changes in global economic and business conditions” brought on largely by the Coronavirus.

According to reports, the decision was agreed upon mutually with an extract from the statement, published by Autocar India, saying that the outbreak of the pandemic “influenced separate decisions by Ford and Mahindra to reassess their respective capital allocation priorities”.

In a follow-up, the Blue Oval confirmed that the dissolving of the partnership would not have any bearing on its new C-segment SUV that will be arriving next year based on the same platform and using the same engines as the next generation Mahindra XUV500 that will debut later this year. Also unaffected is the Mahindra made 1.2 T-GDI three-cylinder engine that will soon replace the 1.0 EcoBoost unit in the EcoSport.

Know internally as C757 with the XUV 500 carrying the W601 moniker, the Autocar report states that the Blue Oval’s still to be named offering had reached an advance stage of development and that it’s calling off was deemed unsuitable given the amount of resources and money invested. In a related report, indianautosblog.com stated that projects no longer likely happen include a Mahindra badged all-electric version of the Figo Sedan known in India as the Aspire, an all-new compact SUV and a Ford version of the Marazzo MPV.

In India, the C757 will fill the vacant position between the EcoSport and Endeavour (Everest), although it remains to be seen whether South Africa forms part of the export strategy come 2022.

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