Mahindras road to the United States has been interesting so far, to say the least. It's changed the trucks model name, seen delays in a target launch date, caused delays and broken contracts.
Many here in the states are eagerly awaiting the arrival of an official on-sale date for the Pik-up. The biggest group waiting for that announcement might just be Global Vehicles, the U.S. distributor for the little truck with potential big appeal. Global Vehicles has already invested nearly $100 million to bring the vehicle to the US and now they've placed an initial order for the Mahindra pickups to the tune of $35 million.
John Perez, CEO of Global Vehicles, says:
Perez goes on to state that he believes Global Vehicles will prevail in the pending arbitration case against Mahindra. This would force Mahindra to honor its agreement with GV. The offending clause states that Mahindra could walk away from the deal if its truck did not pass EPA testing by a certain date. Mahindra claimed this last-minute contract change was to protect against potential losses if its truck didn't receive the EPA certification. The deadline dates came up three times, with Perez's company extending the deadline each time. The most recent time passed on June 11. Ten days after that deadline, Mahindra announced its vehicles were certified for sale and declared its relationship with GV now void."We are proud of the sales and service network we created to support the launch of Mahindra vehicles, and we look forward to bringing American buyers something truly unique in the marketplace – rugged, high-quality, clean diesel pickup trucks that can achieve nearly 30 miles per gallon. Our dealers are all seasoned auto industry professionals who will treat customers with honesty, integrity and respect. We built our business on these bedrock principles, which should be the foundation of every business relationship."
It will be very interesting to watch this play out. The Pik-Up is supposed to be an affordable and capable, fuel-efficient truck which could be a perfect fit for many U.S. buyers. It's clear that Global Vehicles remains extremely committed to its investment and hopefully we see the distinctly-styled trucklet roaming our streets in the near future.
Full press release available after the jump.