Mahesh Babu, former CEO of Mahindra Electric, is expected to join Chennai-based Ashok Leyland Limited. He is expected to take the role of CEO of the company’s EV business, Switch Mobility, starting September 1, people in the know have informed ET Auto.
Ashok Leyland, the leader in commercial vehicles, recently consolidated all of its group’s electric vehicle business, including UK-based Optare, into a new company called Switch Mobility. It is understood that Babu will be based in Chennai, but with global responsibilities. When ETAuto contacted Babu declined to comment on the development.
Babu has been one of the many high-profile Mahindra Group outings in recent times, having served the company for over a decade. He is instrumental in the manufacture of the company’s XUV500, which is based at the Mahindra Research Center in Chennai. After the same post, he took over as CEO of Mahindra Electric in Bangalore and is credited with building a strong B2B electric vehicle business for Mahindra.
With most of the automotive OEMs boosting the electric vehicle industry, Switch Mobility would be responsible for the group’s electric vehicle operations, with Ashok Leyland focusing on its core business, diesel vehicles, as well as alternative fuels such as CNG. , LNG and Hydrogen. The new company will launch an electric van in India by the end of the current fiscal year, aimed at operators of commercial vehicle fleets, an area in which Babu specializes. Switch Mobility claimed it already had 2,000 advance orders for the same.
All electric vehicles launched by the group would now be under the Switch brand, including in India. India and the UK will serve as manufacturing bases, with India primarily satisfying local demand as well as that of other emerging markets.