The Chicken Tax strikes again? When Indian automaker Mahindra first decided to sell its oft-delayed compact diesel pickups here in the United States, the company said it planned to assemble the trucks from knock-down kits imported from India as a way to avoid paying the 25 percent tariff on imported trucks. Later, that decision was repealed and the first Mahindra trucks that make it across the ocean will in fact be completely assembled in India.
At the time, Mahindra alluded to quality concerns as the reason the change was made, but that apparently doesn't mean the decision is set in stone. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Mahindra has been in talks with Navistar – makers of heavy-duty trucks and diesel engines – to have the American company assemble its TR series of trucks here in America at Navistar-owned facilities.
Now that Ford is building its own diesel V8 engines for its line of Super Duty pickups, we'd imagine that Navistar will have a bit of latent manufacturing capability, which could equal a win/win scenario for both it and Mahindra. Further, the two companies have been involved in joint ventures in India since 2005. We'll see how it all plays out soon enough, but in the meantime, the first Indian-built Mahindra pickups are scheduled to arrive within the next few months.