Ford Motor Co. is reconsidering its plans to cede most of its Indian operations to Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., deciding to pull out of a proposed joint venture and continue its standalone business in the country.
The two companies agreed to terminate the venture after reassessing in part due to the global coronavirus pandemic, they said Thursday. The decision ends a deal reached more than a year ago under which Ford was expected to fold its local operations, including two factories, into a JV majority-controlled by Mahindra, a leading Indian manufacturer of sport utility vehicles.
The future of Ford’s business in India is unclear as it has struggled for more than two decades to grow in the world’s fourth-largest auto market. “The company is actively evaluating its businesses around the world, including in India,” Ford said a statement.
Mahindra said in its own statement the venture’s termination wouldn’t affect its product plans.
The decision came as a Dec. 31 deadline loomed for formalizing the planned partnership. Jim Farley, who became the U.S. automaker’s chief executive officer in Oct., said last year the JV with Mahindra could allow Ford to double its revenue from India.