Mahindra Group seems to be working on making its position stronger in the South African passenger car market. In a press conference in Port Elizabeth, SP Shukla, the Chief Brand Officer, said that the company is aiming at a sales growth by 50 per cent in 2013. Along with this, Shukla also added that the group has plans of making forays into other businesses in the country, as well. In 2012, the Mahindra Group saw the sale volume shoot up by 66 per cent in the passenger car segment while South African market, in the same segment, grew by mere 9 per cent.
Shukla was a speaker at the annual Emerging Markets Conference Board. He said, “This year, we are looking to increase our sales by a further 50 per cent on the figure for 2012 in a climate where the prediction is that the total South African vehicle market will grow by only 7 per cent.”
Engaged in local sales of vehicles in South Africa since 2004, the automotive market has been the mainstay Mahindra Group in the rainbow nation. Not only South Africa, the group also has made rest of the African continent an integral part of its growth strategy. Shukla said that Mahindra Group described the relationship between the group and the continent as a long and enduring one. Further elaborating on the opportunities that the African continent offers, he said, “With 56 countries - some of which have the highest economic growth rates in the world - the continent presents immense opportunity for business.”
Mahindra Group has made an addition in the last couple of years by establishing a dedicated desk in Africa, which gives them the necessary momentum to facilitate business growth in the continent. Shukla, explaining the group's strategy, said that the Mahindra Group has made tie-ups with some existing companies for making early inroads in to new avenues. Currently, the group has its operations running in about 30 African nations, of which 25 are centres for rapid growth in the auto market. Besides the automotive market, the IT section of the Mahindra Group has active businesses in 20 countries (in Africa).
He further added that despite the huge success of light commercial vehicles and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), the group is not just limited to the production of the same. “The diverse business interests of Mahindra now include aerospace, agri-business, consulting, defence, energy, farming equipment, financial services, industrial equipment, IT, leisure and hospitality, logistics, reality, retail, steel processing and two-wheelers,” he added later.