After unveiling its entire range of high-performance trucks at the Indian Auto Expo in Delhi earlier this year, Mahindra-Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL) on Tuesday, June 15, announced the start of production as its first truck offering, the 25-ton capacity MN25, rolled off the assembly line in Chakan, Pune, India.
“The launch of the MN25 truck is a major step in the direction of making us a full range commercial vehicle player and the first step in materializing our vision to become the most trusted commercial vehicle brand in India,” says Rakesh Kalra, MNAL managing director.
According to Phil Christman, president of Navistar Global Truck Operations, the MNAL trucks are designed from the ground up in India with that country’s terrain in mind. The MN25 comes with a spacious and ergonomically designed cabin suited for Indian drivers for continuous long hauls. The truck is powered by Navistar’s MaxxForce 7.2-liter diesel engine.
The Chakan plant is one of the most modern manufacturing plants in India, with a capacity of 50,000 trucks per year, says Dr. Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra & Mahindra’s automotive and farm sector. The Chakan plant has a high-speed fully automatic press line, and beyond the production of the MN25, the remainder of the MNAL truck lineup also will be produced at the Chakan plant in the months ahead.
With production under way, MNAL continues to secure orders and finalize its sales and service network. “The company is well on its way in setting up its infrastructure through exclusive dealerships on a massive scale, which itself is a unique step for the trucking industry in India,” Kalra says. “Additionally the huge Mahindra network will be deployed for the after-sales support of the trucks. Having started the production, we are gearing up for start of sales in the next two to three months and are moving rapidly to the pipelines with our products.”