Auburn Hills, Michigan – Mahindra Automotive North America, (MANA) opened a new North American headquarter with a manufacturing operation here today (November 20) – the first new manufacturing facility to be established in the Detroit area in at least 25 years.
At the inauguration, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley told a select audience of elected officials, business leaders and Mahindra employees, “You are an important and vital part of the resurgence of Detroit.”
Anand Mahindra, Mahindra Group Chairman; Gajan Wadhera, Automotive Division Executive Vice President and Rick Haas, MANA President and CEO participated in the ribbon cutting inauguration ceremony along with Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley. US Congressman Dave Trott of the 11th District of Michigan and Congresswoman Brinda Lawrence representing14th District of Michigan also addressed the inauguration audience.
Noting that Southeast Michigan is the birthplace of the automotive industry, lawmaker Trott said, “It is a great day for my district and my State as this is the first automotive manufacturing facility in 25 years. This comeback is real and exciting.”
Welcoming the inauguration of the new facility, Tom Vajda, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told the audience, “This illustrates the strong partnership between the US and India.”
“This building opening represents our company’s growing presence in North America and locally in the Metro Detroit area where we have tripled our workforce during the past 18 months,” said Chairman Anand Mahindra in a statement. “We are committed to growing the Mahindra brand in North America and Michigan,” said Mahindra, adding, “This is an exciting day for Mahindra, our terrific employees and Detroit. I couldn’t be prouder to be here to help open this new facility today.”
In a first reaction from the business organizations, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) commended the opening of MANA’s new facility calling it, “a true win-win for the bilateral relationship between the United States and India.”
Mukesh Aghi, President of USISPF, said, “Trade is a two-way street. Today’s opening of the MANA center in Auburn Hills illustrates how Indian companies are creating valuable jobs right here in the US, much like what US companies are doing in India.”
MANA’s commitment to the US market was echoed by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a press conference during his visit to India last month, when he said, “US companies and products have an everyday presence in the lives of Indians and we see increasing investments by Indian companies in America, including a Mahindra vehicle plant that will open this month in Detroit, the first ever Indian automotive manufacturing plant in the US.”
The new facility will produce an off-highway vehicle which will extend Mahindra’s current position in this growing segment. Designed and engineered by MANA, the company said, “the vehicle promises to be unlike anything currently on the market.”
The expansion is part of a $230 million investment in Southeast Michigan that also includes a recently-opened warehouse and logistics operation in Pontiac and an existing prototype operation. Spread across three Detroit area facilities, Mahindra has grown to 400,000 square feet.
“This expansion represents a milestone for us and for Michigan,” Mahindra CEO Rick Haas, a former engineering director for Tesla, Inc. said in the statement. “We started this operation with seven people four years ago – to be crossing the 250 mark is a testament to the hard work of our employees and what this region has to offer in terms of top automotive talent.”
The facility is expected to produce 12,000 vehicles annually after it reaches full production capacity in the first quarter of 2018. The company expects to employ 670 workers with an additional investment of $600 million by 2020.