'Michigan provided us the perfect ecosystem,' Indian automaker says

We like our news local, focusing on  what’s in it for Michigan, so that’s why we’re so happy to report that Indian automaker Mahindra is planning to build their new electric scooters right here in our state.

Green Car Reports says Mahindra is investing in a 37,000-square-foot facility in Ann Arbor with a capacity to make up to 20,000 GenZe scooters per year. The company is targeting students, urban commuters, and workers at office parks and urban campuses.

“A small step-through scooter with a large storage box above the rear wheel, GenZe is designed as a light-weight, affordable way of getting around the city,” according to the report. Its battery unit is removable, so it can be carried to any convenient outlet.

“GenZe isn't the most stylish two-wheeler we've covered, but it's certainly useful,” Green Car Reports noted. “The large luggage carrier should handle a light shopping trip or a laptop bag, while a weather-proof 7-inch readout on the console looks far more advanced than that on most cheap electric scooters.”

While Mahindra boasts that the GenZe was conceptualized in Silicon Valley, the scooter was designed and engineered in Michigan.

And that brings us to the bigger news, that Mahindra plans to add about 110 engineering jobs at its technical center in Troy, according to a report last week in Auto News.

“Michigan provided us the perfect ecosystem to step up our U.S. presence,” Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra said in a statement quoted by the Auto News.

Rick Haas, COO of Mahindra’s North American technical center, said the unit focuses on architecture and platform designs for Mahindra; the company is planning a foray into global markets, and is using the center to develop prototypes and improve existing vehicles.

“We will fill the building up,” Haas said. ”The question is how fast.”