Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has setup a warehouse at Jaipur to cater to the requirements of its automotive and tractor customers in north and north western region of the country. The move is part of a strategy to create a network of spare parts warehouses across India. Located on an 11 acre plot with another five acres reserved for future expansion, the warehouse is expected to reduce the order processing time for customers in North India to less than four days. Efforts are on by M&M to procure spare parts from over 1,000 vendors and nine plants. Built with an investment of Rs.150 crore, the warehouse, a Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), has deployed Systems, Applications & Products (SAP) implementation Extended Warehouse Management (EVM). M&M has a CV spares warehouse at Hyderabad.
In a significant development, Anand Mahindra, who holds the position of chairman and managing director at Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), has been designated as executive chairman of the company. Dr. Pawan Goenka has been elevated to the position of managing director in the company. He will continue to report to Anand Mahindra and the company board. According to the new executive chairman, the elevation of Dr. Goenka comes as a recognition of the vast experience and domain knowledge in the mobility space and many past achievements. It also comes as a recognition of the eminent role that he is currently playing in the company. Anand Mahindra, as executive chairman, would continue to oversee, and be responsible for shaping the growth strategies of the company and its portfolio of investments.
Mahindra has announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has selected it to deliver NGDV prototype vehicles for testing as the result of a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) issued in October 2015. Mahindra is one of the six vehicle manufacturers USPS has selected to produce prototypes for testing and evaluation. Each manufacturer will have approximately one year to design and deliver their prototypes. Production requirements and future vehicle replacement awards will be determined by USPS after NGDV prototype testing. The Mahindra prototypes, claim sources, will be based on one of the company’s newest and most modern 4WD pick-up truck platforms (with the option of electric propulsion). While the USPS is known to use sturdy vehicles with 4WD capabilities to deliver mail to remote backyards of the vast country, Mahindra, which begun its journey in 1948 by building Willys CJ3 CKD kits under license from Willys Overland Corporation, approached USPS through its Southeast Michigan-based Mahindra North American Technical Center (MNATC). MNATC is a comprehensive automotive design, engineering and vehicle development centre. Established in 2013, it has a team of designers and engineers that work with affiliate Mahindra automotive teams in India, Korea and Italy.
After unveiling the electric version of its passenger vehicle Supro at Auto Expo 2016, Mahindra has made it commercially available. Adding a new dimension to the Supro small commercial vehicle platform, which also includes a mini-truck, the eSupro is powered by a high-torque 25kW (90 Nm torque) electric motor and a direct drive transmission. Promising a range of 112 km on a full charge, the vehicle is fitted with a 72-volt lithium-ion maintenance free batteries. Plugging into a 15 ampere plug point is what it takes to charge the eSupro pbtteries. It takes close to nine hours to fully charge the batteries. Capable of a top speed of 60 kmph, the eSupro, apart from regenerative braking, features a boost mode that provides more torque when negotiating inclines. A ‘Revive R’ feature gives 7 km of extra range once. The cargo and passenger vans are priced at Rs. 8.45 lakh and Rs. 8.75 lakh ex-showroom post state subsidy and FAME incentive. Claim industry sources that the eSupro is a part of Mahindra’s strategy to carve out a larger pie of the small commercial vehicle market in India. With the entry of passenger car leader Maruti Suzuki into this market with its Super Carry, the situation has changed they add.
Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) launched a new digital platform DiGiSense. With DiGiSense M&M plans to merge all its existing digital platforms like Smart Shift, Tringo and BlueSense on to a common diital platform. A mobile based, connected vehicle technology application, according to Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra, the cloud based sensing platform will be a key differentiator for the company going forward. “Digitization is emerging as a key differentiator for business transformation and connected vehicle technology is one such manifestation,” opined Goenka. “It is the first of its kind technology platform which is multi application and multi product enabled,” he added. The application works such that a Computer Control Unit (CCU) sends information to the DiGiSense sensor. The sensor then processes this raw data. It sends this data to the vehicle owner which can be accessed through the app. and a dedicated web portal. It is claimed to give the owner control over the vehicle and in turn the business. Some of the key features of the digital platform include route planning and delivery tracking, generation of vehicle reports, trip optimisation, system alerts and geo-fencing. In case of tractors, the features include an anti-theft alert, high RPM alerts and air filter clog alerts among others. In case of fleet operators, they will be able to compare and evaluate the performance of drivers and trucks in their fleet. Using the trip optimisation feature mentioned above, fleet operators will be able to plan a multi-location trip on a google map powered interface. This is expected to significantly lower cost of operations and reduce travel time. Logistics operators, those particularly operating on inter-city routes are likely to find the remote diagnostics feature particularly useful. Playing the role of a logistics manager, it will intimate operators on package delivery too. Fuel-theft is another critical area addressed in case of the off-highway and construction vehicles..According to Rajan Wadhera, President and Chief Executive – Truck, Power Train Division and Head – MRV, Mahindra & Mahindra, the open source platform of DiGiSense will allow for future upgrades of the application.“We have built in several features into DiGiSENSE and will further integrate other features in the future versions,”claimed Wadhera. According to Mahindra Sources, a company fitted hardware will be fitted on the vehicle to gather the critical data. Sources claimed the hardware however will not be offered as a retrofit to older Mahindra vehicles. It will be offered on select new vehicles instead; Jeeto and Imperio in the Small Commercial Vehicles space, Arjun Novo in the tractor space, Mahindra Blazo in the heavy commercial vehicles space and the Earthmaster in the construction equipment space. Partnering M&M on the digital platform is Tech Mahindra, Bosch and Vodafone. DiGiSense is expected to cost vehicle owners Rs.5000 to Rs.10000 depending on the vehicle it is fitted on and the features one opts for. Claimed to be launch after exhaustive testing over three years, during the time, M&M is claimed to have conducted several trials especially over the last one year. As part of these trials, the platform was subjected to about 1,80,000 kms on road testing and 10,000 hours of harsh on-road conditions. The hardware was additionally tested for vibrations and 10,000 minutes of data storage to check the consistency of data.
Mahindra Truck and Bus Division (MTBD) felicitated 14 girls – daughters of truck drivers as part of the Mahindra Saarthi Abhiyaan. Launched in January 2014, the Saarthi Abhiyan is a special program that aims at contributing to society by transforming the lives of the daughters of truck drivers by ensuring them their right to higher education. The 14 girls who were felicitated received a scholarship of Rs.10,000 along with a certificate recognising their achievement. The felicitation function was held at the company’s headquarters in Chinchwad. A survey undertaken by the company revealed that the average age of the truck driver in India is 38 years, and his monthly income is Rs.12,000. The expense of sending his two children to a municipal school, it was found, averages Rs.12,993 per year. The scholarship amount of Rs.10,000 was decided upon on this basis. The selection of girl child was given preference because it is she who has the most chances of being told to forego education in case of a financial difficulty.
Through Mahindra’s CSR project, Mahindra Saarthi Abhiyaan, Mahindra Truck and Bus Division (MTBD) has till date awarded scholarships to 2,408 girl children of truck drivers in the past two financial years.In its second phase in FY2016, the Saarthi Abhiyaan Scholarship program was launched in 17 transport hubs including Indore, Korba, Lakhisarai, Muzaffarpur, Bahadurgarh, Sonipat, Sitapur (Lucknow), Moradabad, Sankagiri, Trichy, Namakkal, Kodad, Tandur, Ratnaul, Sangli, Kolhapur and Pune. Mahindra felicitated the selected candidates with a scholarship of Rs.10,000 along with a certificate in recognition of their achievement. The first celebration hosted in Pune felicitated 14 girls in the company headquarters at Pune. Nalin Mehta, Chief Executive Officer – Mahindra Truck and Bus Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said, “True to its philosophy of driving positive change within the transport ecosystem, we are striving to improve the lives of drivers at the grass root level, as they are one of the most important stakeholders in our business. “Mahindra Saarthi Abhiyaan is a pioneering effort and a salute to these drivers who inspite of all odds, have shown great mettle in educating their children, especially their daughters”, he added. With the help of NGOs and through a direct contact program, by executing road shows in prominent dhabas on highways, branding at Transport Nagars and direct field activation’s, the project managed garnering more than 1,300 applicants from transport hub locations and impacted a total of 1,800 drivers. MTBD chose PwC to ensure a proper process was followed including set guidelines and authenticated documentation. Launched in January 2014, this special program is committed to making a contribution by transforming the lives of truck drivers’ girl children in India and ensuring them their right to higher education.