Calhoun was chosen over Charlotte, N.C., Jonesboro, Tenn. and Jacksonville, Fla. as the location for Mahindra USA‘s newest assembly plant because of its access to Interstate highways, ports and Hartsfield International Airport, according to Ravindra Shahane, the company’s Georgia plant manager.

            Based in Tomball, Texas, Mahindra USA is a subsidiary of India‘s Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a major tractor and light commercial vehicle manufacturer with worldwide operations.

“The logistics costs to dealers and from suppliers was the main factor in our decision-making about the location of the plant,” Mr. Shahane told members of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta during a meeting last week.

The tractor bodies and the bulk of tractor components are shipped from Mahindra’s factory in Mumbai, India, to the United States for assembly and sale in the U.S. market, which makes port access particularly important for an assembly plant here, he explained.

The eight-acre Calhoun site is also central to Mahindra USA’s customer and distributor base, concentrated largely in the northeastern and southeastern U.S.

He added that the plant is near several of the company’s tractor accessory suppliers, including its tire supplier, which has a distribution center in Cartersville.

            Overall, said Mr. Shahane, the Calhoun plant has increased the Mahindra USA’s U.S. tractor production by 50 percent since the facility opened nine months ago and is expected to double U.S. production by 2004.

            The company estimates that production capacity will be increased at the Calhoun site to 6,000 tractors by 2005.

            For additional information, contact Mahindra USA’s Calhoun offices at (706) 629-4777.