Project Scorpio: The Making of India's First Indigenous Sports Utility Vehicle

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER046
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1997-2004
Organization : Scorpio
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Automobile

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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M&M was set up in 1945 to manufacture general-purpose utility vehicles for the Indian market. The company soon diversified into the manufacture of tractors for agriculture and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Over the decades, M&M diversified into other businesses through alliances and joint ventures with Indian as well as foreign companies, and secured a significant presence in many major business sectors in India and abroad.

By the early 1990s, M&M was a global conglomerate with a presence in many sectors including automobiles, farm equipment, trade and finance related services, information technology, and infrastructure development.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

In 1994, the M&M Group embarked on an organizational restructuring exercise arising from a Business Process Reengineering program. The result of this was that all the divisions of the Group were spun off as separate entities, with the exception of the Farm Equipment and Automotive Divisions, which remained with M&M.

M&M's Farm Equipment Division made tractors and other farm implements. The Division also diversified into manufacturing industrial engines in 2003. In the same year, it became the first tractor company in the world to receive the prestigious Deming Application Prize. (Awarded by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE), this prize was considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the area of Quality Management). The Automobile Division traced its roots back to the 1950s, when the company began offering a multi utility vehicle (MUV) under the 'Jeep' brand in India, in collaboration with Willys Overland Corporation, American Motors Corporation, and Kaiser Jeep Corporation, all based in the US.

In 1965, the company began manufacturing LCVs in collaboration with Rubery Owen, UK. Although M&M received an initial impetus from its foreign collaborations, it was strongly focused on developing its own manufacturing facilities and capabilities and it began manufacturing vehicles indigenously by the end of the 1960s. (By the late 1990s, M&M had ISO-9002 certified manufacturing plants at Mumbai, Nashik and Igatpuri (all in Maharashtra) and Zaheerabad (in Andhra Pradesh).)

M&M's Jeeps were immensely successful and the company's vehicles came to be identified with high quality, reliability, durability, ruggedness, easy maintenance, and operational economy in the Utility Vehicle (UV) market...

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