Indian Automaker’s Plant Is Latest Sign of Detroit Comeback
November 24, 2017
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — It has been years since Detroit, birthplace of the American auto industry, was a steady producer of the manufacturing jobs that defined it as the Motor City. But its comeback is entering a new phase.
The latest milestone came Monday, with the announcement of the area’s first new vehicle assembly plant in 25 years. And the automaker making it happen is from, of all places, India.
The company, the Mumbai-based Mahindra Group, said it would begin producing off-road recreational and work vehicles at the plant, in Auburn Hills, early next year. And it indicated that this might be just a first step in its ambitions for the American market.
“None of us really know where this journey will take us,” said Rick Haas, chief executive of Mahindra’s North American auto group. “But we are here to expand Mahindra’s auto business in the U.S.”
Moreover, the company’s chairman, Anand G. Mahindra, is taking a cue from another automotive entrepreneur, Elon Musk. Citing the success of Mr. Musk’s electric-car start-up, Tesla, he said the traditional barriers to automotive success had been obliterated.