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.
Never before has such a little truck had to haul so much baggage. It's been years that we've waited for Mahindra's T20 and T40 pickups to finally make it to America, and with a dispute between Mahindra & Mahindra's erstwhile U.S. Importer, GV USA, taking a long time to be settled by arbitrators in London, and dealers filing suits against both Mahindra and GV USA. With GV USA having gone out of business in September, it might be years before we ever see the T20 and T40.
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.
Formerly just a suspicion that had been whispered about, Global Vehicles USA CEO John Perez has uttered it out loud: Mahindra is thought to have delayed the EPA certification of its Pik-Up so that it could break its contract with GV USA. For four years now, GV has had a contract be the exclusive distributor of the Pik-Up in the United States. However, now that the trucklet has finally received EPA approval, Mahindra voided its contract with GV and hasn't announced any alternative.
Mike Levine over at PickupTrucks.com got a chance to drive the Mahindra Pik-Up regular cab with a 7-foot bed and lived to say rather good things about it. He drove the 2.5-liter diesel spec that is a generation behind what we'll get here, so actual driving impressions are moot.