A Ford dealership. Picture: REUTERS
A Ford dealership. Picture: REUTERS

New Delhi — US car maker Ford Motor and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra have signed an agreement to develop mid-size and compact SUVs and an electric vehicle (EV), the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The agreement comes after Ford and Mahindra, one of India’s oldest vehicle manufacturers, announced plans last September for a strategic alliance. The companies said they will co-develop a mid-size SUV, which will be "sold independently by both companies as separate brands".

Ford and other global vehicle makers are facing pressure as policy makers demand they start focusing more on EVs over the coming years.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said it wants to ensure that by 2030 all new vehicles sold are electric. The Mahindra-Ford partnership, announced last year, is likely to help Ford get access to lower-cost EV designs and the local suppliers it needs to compete in markets such as India.

The two companies said on Thursday that they would continue to work together for a period of up to three years, which will include supporting Mahindra in global emerging markets.

Said the companies: "The strategic alliance ... continues to focus on leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale in India, and its successful operating model."