In yet another sign of the weird, inter-connected world we live in these days, Mahindra is reportedly planning to open a second R&D centre in the UK.
Wait! Doesn’t Mahindra build tractors and other heavy equipment? Yeah, and that’s the majority of the company’s current impact on European and North American markets. However, back in its home country of India, Mahindra is also a major player in the motorcycle segment, as well as automobiles.
Sooooo why put an R&D centre in the UK? Easy: Because that’s what everyone else is doing. Sort of. And Mahindra actually has another centre there already (more on that below).
Currently, Royal Enfield is still the most prestigious motorcycle manufacturer in India, their equivalent to Harley-Davidson. Royal Enfield’s recent revitalization has a lot to do with two moves. First, the company greatly expanded its production capacity. Second, it bought legendary chassis constructors Harris Performance, and then built a UK-based R&D centre. British engineers with years of expertise would design the bikes, and Royal Enfield’s India-based workforce would build the machines.
To a certain extent, this is also what KTM does. India-based Bajaj owns a huge chunk of KTM, and builds Austria-designed bikes in its Indian factories. They’re high-tech and low-cost (relatively speaking). Win-win.
Mahindra’s new UK-based facility will be called Mahindra Advanced Design Europe, and the press release seems to hint the focus will be cars, but also including motorcycles, EVs and other vehicles. It is not a moto-only research facility. Mahindra actually already has a motorcycle R&D centre in the same area (around the city of Coventry), which is reportedly working on designs for the bike brands that Mahindra controls (including BSA and Jawa). Now, it’s doubled down—expect superior products in the future, as a result.