By on May 12, 2010

When something that sounded too good to be true (say a cheap, compact, diesel-powered pickup) keeps getting delayed, you eventually just make your peace with the whole “too good to be true” part. That’s the only explanation for our recent lapse in Mahindra coverage: the news is depressing enough as it is. We last updated our Mahindra tag back in December, with news that a “Middle Spring” launch would be the latest of several delays for the Indian pickup venture. A news clipping [PDF] touting a March launch is still available at the Mahindra USA website. The latest from an actual human being? Mahindra’s US distributor John Perez tells Automotive News [sub]:

I don’t want to speculate anymore

Ruh Roh!

The president of Global Vehicles is standing by his Indian manufacturers, and says he can wait for (gulp) up to two more years.

It’s a battle with Mahindra to get information from them. It’s not because they don’t have the information. It’s the culture. They don’t like to make announcements. I argue with them all the time about this issue. I say, “Guys, give the dealers transparency. Tell them step by step where we are.” I’ve told them, “The credibility is going to go away if you don’t step forward and tell the dealers where we are.” But they say they don’t like to announce anything until it’s done

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20 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: The Case Of The Missing Mahindras Edition...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Earth to Mahindra: That truck needs an updated front grille quick.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Fugly fiction.
    Anyone that wants one of these really wants a used one cheap.
    How do they get started

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    On one hand, it would be nice to have another affordably priced compact pickup on the market, especially a diesel. On the other hand, the longer these remain vaporware, the better it is for Ranger sales.

    • 0 avatar

      Man, I tried Ranger. I really wanted to like it. But my head bumps against the ridiculous bulge Ford saw fit to build into the headliner where my head wants to be. That truck seems to be designed with the same antropometric limits as Soyuz space capsule.

      Of course it’s better to have a truck for midgets than no truck; at least you can hire a midget to drive it, and you cannot hire anyone to drive Mahindra’s vapor.

  • avatar

    I’m still willing to stand by my prediction that an Indian car or light truck will be on sale in the US before any Chinese manufacturers are in the market.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Ugliness of the grill is the least of concern for the target buyer. Get a life.”

    When I purchased my ’93 compact Toyota PU exterior/interior styling factored into that decision. I suspect as a small truck buyer I wasn’t unique in that respect. .

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      When I went out with my dad to buy my first car (my parents were nice enough to make a deal with me that if I put up half the money they would put up the other other half) I saw a Dodge Dakota Sport that I instantly wanted. I wanted it because it looked cool, had a crosshair grill, had a big ‘Sport’ decal across the bed, and was bright fire engine red. I knew nothing about the mechanicals, or what it could do, or gas mileage, or anything else really, I just wanted the big red truck. The lesson, I suppose is don’t discount cosmetics. While work truck buyers might not car, there is still a big chunk of the market for whom appearance matters more than capability.

      (In the end I ended up with a Jeep Wrangler, the convertible top trumped the big red truck)

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    I’m all in favor of more reasonably sized pick-up truck options for the consumer, but my God, these things are UGLY! Really, really ugly…eyesore ugly.

    Screw the diesel gas savings, I don’t want to have to look at these things out on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      I think it looks better than the new tacoma, tundra, equator, f250 & 350, fetal alcohol syndrome silverado and ram. The Sierra and f150 are the only decent looking pickups out there. Everything else is intentionally and cynically designed to look like a boxer’s face. I hope these get into the market soon, are a hit, and wake up every manufacturer outside of Germany to diesel engines.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    The EPA is a convenient whipping boy. M&M tried to time the market when gas went nuts, couldn’t get it done on time and then carmeggedon hit. Now they need for the economy to recover or have someone disappear to take away the discounted iron that they can’t be competitive against.
    Don’t expect anything soon.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I’m with the crowd that says don’t discount the problems generated by being wierd looking. Just go through the mental sequence that’s generated when you first see one.

    1. Wow, that’s wierd looking
    2. Where’s it from? India?
    3. Who ever heard of anything made in India?
    4. Bet the engineering’s just as wierd as the looks.
    5. But, it’s cheap.
    6. Yeah, but I can get an old Ford for even less, and it’ll run forever. Plus, I can get parts for the Ford.
    7. Pass on the Mahindra.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      They are definitely not sexy or even pretty. The only thing going for them is the diesel offering. But since it’s an unproven company people won’t want to potentially throw their money away on something that could turn out to be an ugly lemon. I know they sell farm tractors in the U.S., but most people don’t know about that.

      If Ford would just bring a diesel option back to the Ranger there would be no reason for Mahindra trucks. But we all know that won’t happen.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    That is definitely the culture. Not transparent at all. Capable, for sure. But SO opaque, as to be almost Socialist. Try getting a straight answer from an Indian engineer. We have a saying, “Somehow Happens In Time”…. look at that one twice.

  • avatar
    wp8thsub

    Ha! The road in the cheesy photochop ad is a couple miles from my house.

    As far as looks go, given the number of ugly vehicles that sell in significant volumes these days (Camry, Accord, did I mention Camry…) the styling may not put off as many customers as the B&B might at first think.

    I was discussing small trucks with some guys who like such things but don’t follow the industry too closely, and mentioned M&M looking at selling these trucks. The reaction was pretty positive – one fellow had experience with M&M’s tractors and expressed interest on a truck for his farm based on that alone. The others echoed the typical frustrations with the current small-ish trucks (the geriatric Ranger design, Tacoma bloat, etc.) and thus liked the idea of a new player in the market. Whether any of them would actually make such a purchase is of course open to speculation, but there could be a real opportunity for M&M to sell to farmers and ranchers.

    Something else that could factor into sales is the credit certain taxpayers get for off-highway use of diesel fuel. That could sway some buyers looking to write off a portion of the ownership expense.

    • 0 avatar

      I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the 300+ dealers that Global Vehicles has signed up are existing Mahindra tractor dealers. Farm equipment gets pretty severe use so someone happy with a Mahindra tractor is most likely going to look favorably at a Mahindra work truck.

  • avatar
    maximus

    Yes Mahindra has been quiet, Mr. Perez did the last talking, but I expect Mahindra to begin talking soon about the launch… an announcement can’t be too far down the line. And when that happens, it will be a good day for all truckers waiting for a fuel efficient, diesel compact workhorse.


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