Mahindra opens local special fitment centre to develop new models
Mahindra has taken the next step in its South African growth story with the opening of a Special Fitment Centre in Gauteng.
Located in the Motorvia Distribution Centre in Kempton Park, Gauteng, the new Mahindra Special Fitment Centre will be home to over 20 technical specialists. It will give Mahindra South Africa the capability to introduce locally designed and tested Special Edition models and unique variants to meet specific customer requirements.
“Our new Special Fitment Centre has four dedicated fitment lines where our specialists can fit a range of equipment, all to our level of specification and always with approved equipment and accessories,” says Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa.
The opening of the new Special Fitment Centre follows a year after Mahindra opened its Assembly Facility in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, where it builds the complete range of Mahindra Pik Up models. This includes locally developed models such as the Pik Up Dropside model and the very popular Mahindra Pik Up double cab range.
The announcement also coincides with recent reports that show that Mahindra is one of the fastest growing vehicle brands in South Africa. For the year to date, Mahindra has increased its sales figures by over 34%, while the new-vehicle market, in general, has declined by 3.5%.
“The Special Fitment Centre allows Mahindra to better serve our growing customer base,” says Avinash Bapat, Chief Financial Officer of Mahindra South Africa. “It is part of our systematic investment in our local capacity and includes our assembly facility, our large parts warehouse, our upgraded 4×4 training facility and our state-of-the-art technical training facility in Gauteng.”
One of the models that will benefit from the new Special Fitment Centre is the highly popular Mahindra Pik Up Karoo S10 Special Edition, which was first launched in limited numbers in December 2018.
Since its launch, the Karoo’s long list of luxuries and its exclusive exterior design have led to a sustained high demand and this has forced Mahindra to increase production of this model at its Durban facility.
“With the opening of our Special Fitment Centre, we can increase our output of Karoo Pik Up models and facilitate the introduction of more Special Editions. These will all be designed to meet the needs and tastes of our customers and help us drive our growth further,” says Rajesh.
Many of the parts that are fitted at the new Special Fitment Centre will be sourced from local suppliers. These include equipment such as off-road bumpers, tow bars, tonneau covers and special wheels, trim and other luxury equipment for its range of SUVs.