Since EPA certification has not been obtained, we were worried the delays would continue. We want to begin sales in December as Mahindra stated to the press on May 17th. Our sole intent was to get Mahindra focused on not missing another deadline. We simply wanted to protect you, our dealers, and your investment in the Mahindra brand.
That’s what John Perez, President of Mahindra’s US-market distributor Global Vehicles wants to know. Perez is suing the Indian manufacturer of the compact diesel pickups and SUVs to make sure his dealers dealers don’t miss a fourth blown sales deadline. Mahindra, according to Global’s suit, has not yet filed official EPA paperwork for any of its vehicles. December launch, huh?
Automotive News [sub] reports that Global’s suit further alleges that
Mahindra has delayed the process by pressing Global for financial details about its U.S. operations and has rejected Global’s preliminary vehicle sales projections.
If you know what that means, please let us know. Really. Because it seems strange that Mahindra would test a vehicle but not file EPA paperwork. The excuse that Global wants to order too many trucks rings equally hollow coming from a manufacturer. Mahindra’s building the trucks for other markets, why not send “too many” to the states? Better Mahindra sue deadbeat dealers than be sued by dealers for being a deadbeat factory, right?
Problem is, Mahindra isn’t deadbeat. It’s distracted. With an incomprehensible takeover of the defunct (literally in a cloud of smoke) Korean OEM Ssangyong, no less. And now they’re in talks with Proton for an Indian-market JV… and more? In short, Mahindra is focused on Asia, rather than shipping rugged compact diesel pickups to a mature market on the other side of the world.
From a business perspective, it’s hard to blame them. At this point though, it’s better to have tried and failed, than to back out halfway through leaving your distributor to take legal action in order to buy your product. Especially for a global brand like Mahindra. If the engine failed EPA tests, on the other hand, Mahindra’s reticence is completely understandable. Either way, the picture isn’t looking pretty for first-world fans of third-world utility.