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With apologies to the Beatles, it's been a long and winding road for those waiting to get their hands on the steering wheel of a small, diesel-powered pickup from Mahindra. Here's the good news: Something definitive has finally been heard from the Indian automaker. Here's the bad news: It's bad news.

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With apologies to the Beatles, it's been a long and winding road for those waiting to get their hands on the steering wheel of a small, diesel-powered pickup from Mahindra. Here's the good news: Something definitive has finally been heard from the Indian automaker. Here's the bad news: It's bad news.

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In 2004, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra began courting U.S. auto dealers to build a network of outlets for its trucks and SUVs. Eventually, the company had accumulated $9.5 million in fees from prospective dealers itching to sell Mahindra-branded vehicles.

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Fans of small, fuel-efficient pickup trucks: We hate to tell you this, but it's becoming increasingly clear that Mahindra's long-awaited entry into the United States market just isn't going to happen anytime soon. We're just as disappointed as the rest of you – with the recent demise of the Ford Ranger, there simply aren't any truly compact trucks left in American dealership showrooms.

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Global Vehicles U.S.A. was under contract to import the diesel-powered Mahindra pickup, but the Indian automaker claimed that the pact had expired. The drama between the two companies began over the summer when GV filed suit against Mahindra in Atlanta, GA claiming that the automaker was attempting to cut the importer out of the action. Mahindra later flat-out refused GV's $35 million order back in September, leading to more bad blood.

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Mahindra Pik-Up - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mahindra Pik-Up - Click above for high-res image gallery

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We really do think that a small, fuel efficient and comparatively inexpensive pickup truck powered by a modern diesel engine is a good thing for the American market... it's just too bad that it has to come in such an ungainly package. While the standard-fare pickup from Mahindra isn't exactly a looker in its base form, the American-spec TR40 seen in these spy shots is arguably even less attractive after its updates.

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Rather than get all hung up on what's in a model name, Mahindra may want U.S. consumers to become more familiar with the new-to-America brand itself. Initially, the Indian automaker's mid-sized pickups were expected to carry the "Appalachian" moniker when they came to America, but now, PickupTruck.com is reporting that the trucks will probably go alphanumeric, if recent patent filings for TR20 and TR40 designations are anything to go by.

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