Mahindra counters ‘lemon’ claim

Arwind Mathew (left), head of Mahindra International and Felix Mabilog, president of Asian brand Motors, answer questions about the issue.

Mahindra International, the mother company of Mahindra Cars Philippines, will conduct service camps for the 2,500 plus Philippine National Police vehicles to address accusations of selling “lemons” to the PNP.

Arwind Mathew, Mahindra head for international operations, said Mahindra will review the units purchsed by the PNP in response to claims the vehicles are not fit for police service duty.

Asianbrands Motors Corporation, distributor of Mahindra in the Philippines, said it is confident the service camps will prove Mahindra is of high quality with durability tested in different terrains.

“The PNP tested our cars for five straight days and found them worthy of duty for our police force. For five consecutive days, the Mahindra traveled from Bicol to Ilocos Norte with engine running all the way. It was also carrying bags of sand to simulate passengers and the PNP approved of its performance,” said Felix Mabilog, president of Asianbrands Motors Corporation.

Mahindra is a 70-year-old automotive company from India which is the by-product of Mahindra and Mahindra Steel Company. It was also the company that was licensed to build the Willy’s Jeep for the US military, the same company that produced our iconic Jeepneys.
Mathew said Mahindra vehicles are used in India for military transport, mostly at the border with Pakistan where a military stand-off is maintained to this day.

“It is quite difficult to be using substandard materials and products in an area where there is a military stand-off between two nuclear capable countries. Our Mahindra has been the main vehicle of the Indian Army for decades now,” Mathews said.

Mabilog, on the other hand, said the Mahindra vehicles sold to the PNP were priced lower at P860,000.

Sources within Camp Crame told the Daily Tribune that the bidding requirements were changed multiple times to favor two other car companies. The source also claimed the specifications were made in favor of Mahindra competitors.

“Specifications like horsepower, torque and displacement were changed numerous times to favor the other two brands only to find out that Mahindra gave better specs each time,” the source said.

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