Haas retiring as CEO of Mahindra North America at end of March

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Richard Haas, CEO of Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.’s North American unit, is set to retire at the end of March, according to the company.

Viren Popli will take over as interim CEO at Mahindra Automotive North America. Popli currently is CEO of Mahindra Ag North America, the company’s tractor and farming equipment retail division in the U.S.

“I’ve truly enjoyed working with Mahindra both in India and here in Detroit, and I cherish the experiences and relationships that defined this journey,” Haas said in a statement.

Haas, 61, has been with Mahindra since 2011 and has been CEO of the North American unit since 2013. He was involved with growing the conglomerate’s presence in the Detroit region in 2013, when it opened the Mahindra North American Technical Center in Troy, Mich.

The group’s North American division was formed in 2017. It manufactures, sells and distributes the Roxor, an off-road utility vehicle.

Mahindra’s presence in North America notably took a hit in 2020 with layoffs and furloughs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and legal woes involving Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ successful bid for a block on U.S. imports of the Roxor. FCA, now part of Stellantis, said the Roxor copies the look of its Jeep Wrangler.

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