Recently at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong, the Columbian Group of Companies officially launched Indian automobile brand Mahindra in the Philippines under the Asianbrands Motor Corporation (AMC).

The launching of Mahindra Philippines adds to the extensive portfolio of the Columbian Group which includes Kia, Peugeot and Daewoo Bus. The press launch was attended by Asianbrands Motor Corporation Executives as well as principals from Mahindra & Mahindra including Mr. Pravin Shah, Mahindra's President and Chief Executive for the Automotive Division.

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Mahindra's line up will consist of a series of 4x4 vehicles with the Enforcer pick up in single cab and double cab configurations as well as the Xylo 7-seater. Mahindra Philippines will be led by Mr. Felix J. Mabilog, Jr., bringing with him decades of experience in the auto industry under the Columbian Group.

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"We want to prove Mahindra first with products we think are competitive, such as the Xylo AUV and Enforcer pick-up," said Mabilog during the press conference.

Prior to their official introduction in the country, Mabilog and Mahindra secured a Philippine National Police contract to supply their requirement for 1,500 Enforcer pick-ups, besting many other brands in the bidding process.

"Mahindra's products are true 4x4 vehicles," said Mr. Pravin Shah, President and Chief Executive of Mahindra & Mahindra. "We've been making SUVs for the last 60-70 years. The expertise and experience is there in making 4x4s."

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When asked about Mahindra's local strategy and positioning, Mabilog stressed that their pricing will undercut the mainstream contenders in the pick-up segment without sacrificing quality.

"We are going to prove to you that the cheapest will not be necessarily the lousiest," continued Mabilog. "Even if we're the cheapest, we can be the best."