Chennai, Sep 18 (IANS) Indian automobile group Mahindra and the US-based Ford Motor Company on Monday agreed to explore a strategic alliance, the two companies said.Also Read - Highlights | India vs Japan Asian Champions Trophy Semi-Final: JAP Beat IND 5-3, Set Final Showdown With South Korea

In a joint statement issued here, the two automobile majors said they have agreed “to explore a strategic alliance, designed to leverage the benefits of Ford’s global reach and expertise, and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model”. Also Read - Highlights India vs New Zealand 3rd T20I Match : IND Win By 73 Runs, NZ Whitewashed 3-0

Interestingly, the two groups are coming together again after a gap of several years. Ford came to India in the mid-1990s partnering with Mahindra for several years ago before parting ways. Also Read - Highlights | India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I Match: IND Beat NZ By 7 Wickets, Clinch T20I Series

Teams from both companies will collaborate and work together for a period of up to three years. Any further strategic cooperation between the two companies will be decided at the end of that period.

“The agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry,” the statement added.

According to the two companies, the areas of potential cooperation include, mobility programmes, connected vehicle projects, electrification, product development, sourcing and commercial efficiencies, distribution within India to improve Ford’s reach and global emerging markets to improve Mahindra’s reach outside India.

“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” Jim Farley, Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets, Ford, said in the statement.

He said that the memorandum of understanding will allow the companies to work together to take advantage of the changes coming in the auto industry.

“The enormous growth potential in the utility market and the growing importance of mobility and affordable battery electric vehicles are all aligned with our strategic priorities,” Farley noted.

He added that the two companies had a long history of cooperation and mutual respect.

“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility.

“Given these changes, we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities,” Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, said.

He added that the alliance builds on the foundation laid through their past partnership with Ford and would open opportunities for both companies.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.