• Mar 29th 2010 at 5:32PM
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Mahindra Pik-Up – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Pawan Goenka, Mahindra's president for global automotive, vehicle testing that would provide EPA approval for the Indian automaker's upcoming diesel-powered, 30-mile-per-gallon pickup truck "is taking a bit longer than what we anticipated." That, it would seem, is an understatement.

Mahindra first announced an expected mid-2009 sale date for the truck, which was later revised to end-of-2009, then February of 2010 and then finally March of 2010. You'll notice that this Thursday the calendar turns the page to April, meaning Mahindra has missed yet another target date.

At this point, Mahindra does not yet have official approval from the EPA to sell its wares in the United States. The Indian automaker says it should take about a month for the paperwork to be completed (a timeframe not acknowledged by the EPA, naturally) and then dealers can finally place orders for the trucks. Considering that Mahindra's vehicles will ship from India, it's clear that there will still be some time before you'll be able to stroll down to you nearest dealer and drive off in a new oil-burning bundle of joy.

That fact is not lost on Mahindra's 300-plus dealers, some of whom have paid up to $200,000 in franchise fees and in some cases have been waiting for years to see their investment pay off. That said, nobody ever said that launching a completely new brand of vehicles in the U.S. was going to be easy, inexpensive or timely.

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[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nobody want these krunchy thangs...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Disagree. I think a basic, 30mpg truck without leather and power everything will sell like hotcakes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why do people keep calling this a small truck and comparing it to the Ranger? I've seen about a half dozen of them on the road here in San Antonio (all have big orange "test vehicle" stickers in the rear glass) in the last month, and they seem almost Tacoma-size. Maybe it's just an illusion, but sitting behind one at a red light, it sure looked substantially bigger than a Ranger.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should just apply for an energy star label and call it done!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I currently drive a compact truck with a weak gasoline 4cyl and a manual trans. I get MAYBE 24 MPG on a good day, unloaded.

      I could picture myself trading it in on this truck to get better MPG with more pulling power and increased pay load. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

      I'd really like to see what Ford can do with a next-gen Ranger (the truck I have now is not a Ford) before buying this Indian truck, but that story changes from day-to-day so the odds are that the Mahindra will likely be my only choice. When it finnaly comes out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the biggest problem is that the EPA is enforcing the emissions requirements (rightfully so)- but I'm not sure what level Mahindra has to meet. Where do their projected sales numbers put them, and if every vehicle is going to be a diesel.

      If so, the "fleet" average of 0.07 g/mi NOx requirement is gotta be one of the things killing them - as they don't have any other vehicles (like petrol passenger cars) sold to offset the diesel's emissions.
      Also, OBDII is a requirement in the USA - and it is getting increasingly tough to satisfy all the requirements successfully. Case in point, Ford cannot meet all the OBDII testing requirements on their new "Scorpion" diesel engine and will pay a fine of $75 PER TRUCK until they come up with a fix for their problems.

      Two exceedingly big hurdles for Mahindra to overcome - neither are protectionist or unfair.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They're going to import these as broken down kits to get around the chicken tax.

      And they're going to find out why no one else bothers to really sell small trucks anymore. 50,000 Rangers a year is not enough profit to bother putting money into it redesigning it. For a small truck to work your price has to be significantly lower than a full size, fuel economy significantly better, and still have good capabilities as a truck.

      And then it has to compete with small crossovers like the CRV, Equinox, RAV4, etc, all of which get a lot more cash thrown at them because they sell better and make more of a profit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kit form entices me more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw a couple of these on a transporter in a parking lot near St. Paul, Minnesota, a couple of weeks ago. There was a Hyundai Santa Fe on the transporter, too (looked like a Santa Fe to me but I'm not sure of the model). had to do a double-take because I didn't recognize the Mahindras at first, but the rear-pillar window gave it away. No orange test-vehicle stickers. Couldn't stop to take pictures or chat at that time. Maybe they were on their way to a showroom?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its not brand new. This exact model has been in relatively unchanged since 2002. There probably going to bring the Xylo panel van and an upcoming SUV to be released next year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quote: "That said, nobody ever said that launching a completely new brand of vehicles in the U.S. was going to be easy, inexpensive or timely.""

      Bricklin launched Subaru in the US in less time than Mahindra has been fooling around with their crapotastic pickup.

      Mahindra needs to admit it's not going to happen and refund the franchise fees, or the U.S. Justice Dept. needs to start looking into the matter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just saw one of these in Corpus Christi. Must have come up from Mexico if it's not legal in the states yet. You'd be surprised how many new Peugots and Renaults I see from across the border up here. Even saw a Ford Ka once.
      • 5 Years Ago
      $200,000 in franchise fees? lol.
      I would think that with a truck that looks like that, the franchise fees should be non-existant.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ha Ha Ha! Jcar302, you're funny! I hadn't strung the two thoughts together as you did. Now, looking at it that way, I agree with you.

        UGLY little trucks! Well, in terms of styling, let's all remember that most importers of the last 30 years initially brought in some really ugly stuff. Some of it really unreliable, too.

        I wish Mahindra well, but these interminable delays are NOT good press for the company or products. Hopefully the trucks are worth the wait. You can BET Tata Motors is watching this all very closely.
      • 5 Years Ago
      These are work trucks, not LA smog basin commuters. The EPA needs to get out of the way.

      You'd hope that the worst economy in 80 years would be a cue for the federal bureaucrats to let people go back to work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Effective government regulation is very essence of the worth of a civilization. Chinese consumers buy the products being shipped to Europe rather than the stuff being shipped to the US because the stiffer European regulations mean your one child might not be killed by a bad product.

        The government haters should move to an actual libertarian nation like Somalia. BTW, India is hardly a beacon of free markets, whole regions are controlled by actual Communists!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your argument may be flawed, because those EPA dimwits need to work too.

        But I'm on your side, just for the record.
      • 5 Years Ago
      and people wonder why vw took a 1 year break while readying new tdis for north america - being successful, it takes effort.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Doing 50 state compliant diesel's right takes time. Like you said vw took a year, and they even had a delay here and there. It's also no easy task, alot of other manufacturers have backed out of bringing diesels to the US, they're citing lack of interest in diesel but I beg to differ and am sure it has to do with the fact it's NOT EASY to pass the 50 state certification.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because they really deserved an extended vacation?
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