India’s Mahindra Enter E-Racing, To Be Like Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

Tesla century city

Mahindra has invested millions to participate in the FIA’s Formula E racing series. However, the intention is not to record victory, but to register its presence in the high stake game. The main objective of Mahindra is to establish itself as a low-cost alternative to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), says a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Mahindra investing big to mark its presence

Mahindra is one of the biggest sport utility sellers in India and popular in the United States for its small tractors. Additionally, the company is also into IT sector in the United States, a startup scooter company and a stable of other businesses.

Formula E race cars are one of the most advanced machines on any racetrack in the world. Last year, in the series, drivers from 10 teams, including names such as Audi AG, Renault SA and Andretti Autosport, race high performance electric cars for an hour at a 140 mph top speed.

Mahindra’s $10,000 e2o is the only pure battery operated car built in India, a country where the vehicle market is still evolving. Mahindra plans to launch the city car in London, hoping that the car will be a Launchpad to the developed markets, which are not easy to enter with Indian vehicles carrying conventional powertrains.

Fighting it alone

In the current scenario, Mahindra’s efforts is not receiving expected response. Pawan Goenka, the automotive chief of the company, in an interview before the latest Formula E race, told the WSJ that Mahindra is marching towards transforming into a local brand. “If we were to do it through electric vehicles, it may be an easier thing than to come through the mainstream.”

Goenka did acknowledge that shifting towards the mature markets will involve a lot of cost. Goenka could not garner enough support from the Indian government, and the local competition is scarce, therefore, he is looking forward to Formula E to bridge the gaps. According to Goenka, Indian policy makers have allocated only a small amount of fund towards electric cars, rather than a large master plan.

It won’t be easy for Mahindra to compete with Tesla, which has bagged man award for its Model S. However, by relating itself with the FIA’s Formula E, the Indian firm has made an impressive start.