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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.
Indian vehicle maker Mahindra is looking for a way to avoid import taxes when it puts its pickup truck and Scorpio sport utility on the U.S. market sometime in 2010, so it's no surprise that Automotive News is reporting that the manufacturer is on the hunt for a stateside assembly location. It's the same reason why there are Honda and Toyota plants here, and Mahindra is no stranger to selling vehicles in our market – or assembling them here, for that matter.
A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggested that the expected launch of Mahinrda's latest pickup trucks in the United States has been delayed until 2010. According to Global Vehicles USA, the company that will be distributing the trucks in the States, that's not the case. John Perez, CEO of Global Vehicles, told PickupTrucks.com:
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.
Should a tax on foreign-made pickup trucks that was first instituted way back in 1963 as a retaliation for a European tax on U.S.-bred chickens affect sales of modern and fuel efficient pickups from India in the United States? That's the question that Global Vehicles, hopeful U.S. importers of India's Mahindra pickups, is currently asking policymakers in Washington. The answer they are hoping for would rid the United States of the so-called chicken tax and would allow the importation of Mahindra
According to John Perez, CEO of Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc., his company was approached by a senior official at General Motors to see about selling the Indian vehicles in Saturn's 403 dealerships. Global Vehicles holds the contract to distribute Mahindra's line of diesel-powered pickup trucks here in America. Apparently, the offer was rebuffed, though the possibility remains that Mahindra pickups could be sold at selected Saturn dealerships. Instead of handing over the rights to sell the vehicle