Mahindra's plan to launch its midsize pickups in the United States has taken another interesting turn, as the Indian automaker now plans to assemble the first U.S.-bound units at home and not in Ohio as originally planned. The change means that Mahindra will now be forced to pay the 25% federal "chicken tax" that was first created in the early '60s in retaliation against European tariffs on U.S.-bred chicken.

In any case, Mahindra doesn't expect additional delays in getting its diesel-powered pickup trucks to U.S. dealerships. In fact, selling Indian-made units may actually expedite the truck's fourth-quarter introduction by a few weeks.

Look for a big marketing push in advance of the Indian truck's launch here in the States, especially at motocross events around the country. Mahindra believes that its truck will appeal to dirt bike riders who want a fuel-efficient hauler. The manufacturer says its truck will combine 30 mpg economy from its 2.2L four-cylinder diesel engine with a 7.5-foot bed that can accept a payload of 1.3 tons; all in a package that's priced 10-15% below comparable Japanese offerings.


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