Earlier this year, Ford and Mahindra called off a joint venture the two companies had entered into back in October 2019. This was brought about by a change in global economic and business conditions caused by the pandemic. However, in spite of the JV being called off, the two companies had decided to collaborate on products that were already in an advanced stage of development. Case in point - the next-gen Mahindra XUV500 and the Ford's version of the same.
Now, earlier last week, both Ford and Mahindra decided to call it quits on the on the engine and platform sharing supply pacts as well. This essentially means that all projects shared between both manufacturers have been scrapped. And the vehicle most affected by this decision is the next-gen XUV500-based Ford C-SUV. While Mahindra will continue their own development for the second-gen XUV500, the upcoming Ford C-SUV is now left without an engine and a platform. According to the partnership, Mahindra was to share the next-gen XUV500 underpinnings for the upcoming C-SUV, while Ford would have taken care of the exterior and interior packaging.
Ford is now pretty much on its own to handle both, the vehicle and its engine requirements. There are reports that the Ford C-SUV will be built on the Ford Territory platform that's sold in the Chinese market. As for its engine options, the upcoming SUV was originally supposed to be powered by Mahindra's 2.0L turbo-petrol and 2.2L diesel engine options. In fact, the same will be offered with the next-gen Mahindra XUV500. Going ahead, Ford will have to look for powertrain options from its own family.
The change in platform will of course have an impact on the launch timeline of the vehicle, which could now be delayed by at least six months. Moreover, it will also have a significant impact on costs for both companies, and it remains to be seen how each company meets this challenge. Originally, the Ford C-SUV would have been manufactured at Mahindra's plant in Chakan, Pune. However, Ford will now have to look at options of manufacturing the vehicle at either its Chennai or Sanand plants. Localization and huge export volumes could help Ford to some extent in this regard.
There are other products that have also been affected by this partnership being called off. The Ford EcoSport was slated to receive Mahindar's 1.2-litre TGDi turbo-petrol engine later this year. Of course, this plan has now been scrapped. The EcoSport, which is due a comprehensive facelift, will continue with its 1.5L petrol and diesel engines. The American carmaker was also working on a Mahindra Marazzo-based MPV, but that too has been scrapped.