By Automotive News
- Indian automakers plans to build auto plant in metro Detroit
- Mahindra facility would be the first new auto plant in the region in more than 25 years
- Manufacturer scheduled a news conference for Nov. 20 in Auburn Hills
India’s Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. on Thursday said it plans to build a 400,000-square-foot auto assembly plant on Rex Road in Auburn Hills, which would be the first new auto plant in the region in more than 25 years.
The global manufacturer has scheduled a news conference for Nov. 20 in Auburn Hills with local political leaders, according to an advisory sent by Mahindra North America.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted at Mahindra’s plans on Oct. 25 in New Delhi, Bloomberg reported. Mahindra plans to build off-road utility vehicles in the plant, The Times of India reported at the time. Mahindra’s advisory didn’t indicate when production would begin.
Mahindra has been attempting to enter the U.S. automotive market for more than 10 years, which included plans for a pickup and a possible retail network of more than 300 dealers. But those plans derailed in 2010 and ended up in litigation.
Dealers sued Mahindra in 2012, claiming the automaker “pocketed more than $9.5 million, more than a $100 million worth of dealer trade secrets to utilize for their future entrance into the U.S. market, and a strong market foundation gained at the expense of the dealers’ ‘free’ promotion of Mahindra’s brand name around the U.S.”
Mahindra denied the dealers’ claims, placing blame for the failure of plans to sell its pickups in the United States on its former U.S. distributor, Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc. of Atlanta. The current status of that litigation was not immediately clear. An amended complaint was filed by six dealerships in 2016.
In 2013, Mahindra established its North American automotive headquarters in Troy, which includes design, engineering and vehicle development. In 2014, it announced plans to expand its technical center, adding about 110 engineering jobs.
— Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Dustin Walsh contributed to this report.