Mahindra & Mahindra Limited and Ford Motor Company have signed a definitive agreement to create a joint venture that will develop, market and distribute Ford brand vehicles in India and Ford brand and Mahindra brand vehicles in high-growth emerging markets around the world.

Mahindra and Ford will form a joint venture, with Mahindra owning a 51 percent controlling stake and Ford owning a 49 percent stake. Ford will transfer its India operations to the joint venture, including its personnel and assembly plants in Chennai and Sanand. Ford will retain the Ford engine plant operations in Sanand as well as the Global Business Services unit, Ford Credit and Ford Smart Mobility.

The joint venture is the next step in the strategic alliance forged between Ford and Mahindra in September 2017 and is expected to be operational by mid-2020, subject to regulatory approvals. The joint venture will be operationally managed by Mahindra, and its governance will be equally composed of representatives of Mahindra and Ford.

The joint venture will be responsible for growing the Ford brand in India and exporting its products to Ford entities globally. Ford will continue to own the Ford brand, and its branded vehicles will be distributed through the current Ford India dealer network. Mahindra will continue to own the Mahindra brand and operate its own independent dealer network in India.

The joint venture expects to introduce three new utility vehicles under the Ford brand, beginning with a new midsize sports utility vehicle that will have a common Mahindra product platform and powertrain.

Another area of focus for the joint venture will be electric vehicles. Ford and Mahindra will collaborate to develop vehicles to support the growth of sustainable mobility across emerging markets.

Driving greater economies of scale across the automotive value chain including sourcing, product development and access to relevant technologies, the joint venture is expected to achieve enhanced efficiencies to strengthen the Ford brand in India. In addition, the joint venture will be a catalyst for growth for the Ford and Mahindra brands in emerging markets, which are growing at double the rate of the global industry.

The joint venture will use the Ford brand distribution network in emerging markets to extend support for export of Mahindra products, in addition to Ford branded vehicles. Exports today form about 7 percent of Mahindra’s auto business revenues and its products are exported to South Africa, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Chile, among other nations and areas.