- Mahindra is all set to unveil a pickup concept at its annual August 15 extravaganza in South Africa.
- The pickup will be based on the Scorpio N platform but with a longer wheelbase to accommodate a larger load bed.
- It is likely to be offered in single- and double-cab body styles and with a petrol or diesel engine.
- The pickup will use the Pik Up moniker and is set to arrive in early 2025.
- Mahindra is no stranger to international car markets, but with its new-generation products rolling out, the homegrown automaker is looking at global markets with renewed focus and vigour.
- South Africa is a key market for Mahindra and the upcoming Z121 pickup is tailored to the region’s love for bakkies.
- Mahindra was also recently granted court clearance to sell the newly redesigned Roxor in the US again.
- The US region is certainly on Mahindra’s radar, but for now, the company only sells its tractor and ATV products.
- If it can sort out its design battles with Jeep, the company’s global push could see it enter the US passenger market at some point in the future.
Unveils new pickup Z121
Mahindra, the Indian automaker, is set to unveil a new pickup concept, codenamed Z121, at its annual August 15 event in South Africa. The pickup will be based on the Scorpio N platform but will have a longer wheelbase to accommodate a larger load bed. This vehicle is expected to be a significant addition to Mahindra’s lineup, tailored to the South African market, where pickups, known locally as bakkies, are popular.
The new pickup will likely be available in single- and double-cab body styles and may offer both regular and tray-back bed options, which are popular in export markets. The powertrain options are expected to be derived from the Scorpio SUV, offering petrol and diesel engines, manual and automatic transmissions, as well as 2WD and 4WD variants.
Arrive early 2025
While the production version is slated to arrive in early 2025, Mahindra’s recent focus on global markets indicates its ambition to expand its presence beyond India. South Africa is a crucial market for Mahindra, as the company has had a presence there since 1996 and has seen a significant increase in sales volume. The locally manufactured Pik Up has been a key product for the South African market, and the new Scorpio N-based pickup is expected to further strengthen Mahindra’s position in the region.
Additionally, India is a significant source of car imports for South Africa, with over half of the country’s imports coming from India, as per the data from NAAMSA. This indicates that South Africa is an essential international market for Mahindra, further emphasizing the company’s interest in introducing the Z121 pickup there.
How is the Indian-built car demand in South Africa?
Active in other international markets
Furthermore, Mahindra is also active in other international markets, including Australia, where it has been present since 2005. The company has recently expanded its dealership network in Australia and introduced the XUV700 and Scorpio-N alongside its existing Pik Up range. Given the popularity of pickups, known as utes in Australia, it is expected that the Z121 pickup would also find its way to the Australian market.
Mahindra’s interest in the US market is evident from the clearance it received to sell its redesigned Roxor off-the-road ATV there. While the company currently sells its tractors and ATVs in the US, it has the potential to enter the passenger market in the future if it resolves its design disputes with Jeep, which claimed that Roxor’s design infringed its trademark.
South Africa is a strategically important market for Mahindra for several reasons:
- Rising Importance: South Africa’s automotive market is growing in importance and demand over the years. The region’s economic growth and increasing prosperity have led to a higher demand for vehicles, especially pickups (bakkies), which are popular for their practicality and versatility.
- Strong Pickup Market: As mentioned earlier, pickups are highly popular in South Africa, and they are commonly used for both personal and commercial purposes. Mahindra, known for producing rugged and capable vehicles, sees an opportunity to tap into this market with its new Scorpio N-based pickup concept (Z121).
- Existing Presence: Mahindra has been present in South Africa since 1996 and has established a local assembly plant. Having a well-established presence allows the company to understand the local market better, respond to customer needs effectively, and expand its product offerings according to the preferences of South African consumers.
- Favorable Import Data: The majority of South Africa’s car imports come from India, making it a significant market for Indian automakers like Mahindra. This data indicates that South Africa has a demand for Indian-built vehicles, making it a promising market for Mahindra to introduce its new products.
- Business Growth: Mahindra has seen significant growth in its business in South Africa, becoming the fastest-growing automobile brand in the country in 2022. This success likely motivates the company to further invest in the market and bring new products that cater to local preferences.
- Regional Influence: South Africa’s automotive market also influences neighbouring countries and regions in Southern Africa. A strong presence in South Africa can open doors for Mahindra to expand its reach to other countries within the region.
South Africa presents a favourable combination of factors for Mahindra, including a growing automotive market, a strong demand for pickups, an existing presence with successful sales performance, and a high import share from India.
By showcasing the Z121 pickup concept in South Africa and planning its production and launch there, Mahindra aims to solidify its position in the country while strategically expanding its global reach.
Mahindra’s upcoming pickup concept and its expansion into international markets demonstrate the company’s renewed focus on global ambitions and its intent to cater to different regions’ specific preferences and demands.