Mahindra's US Launch Delayed For More Testing
Automotive News (sub) reports that Indian tractor firm Mahindra and Mahindra has delayed the US launch of its Appalachian pickup, built in Chennai, India. M&M's American distributor Global Vehicles was ready to start chasing its goal of 50k annual sales of the diesel four-banger light truck, when its CEO got a call from Mr Anand Mahindra himself. The message was simple: "My family's name is going onto this vehicle, and it's not going to fail." Mahindra is using the delay to log some 3.2m American miles on 25 trucks in hopes of fine-tuning it for the US market, with a particular eye on reliability. 324 dealers across the company have signed up to sell the Appalachian, but most have not yet built stores, so the delay could only help there as well. Oh, and there's one more thing… the diesel hasn't passed the EPA's new 50-state diesel standards. Global Vehicles and M&M swear on a stack of bibles that it will pass with flying colors, but with the price of diesel staying high, efficiency ratings will be crucial to the Appalachian's success. And since they've got the extra time, maybe they'll find some clever way to explain why an Indian truck has been named after a region of America. Maybe.
I might consider this in the future but not at $22K like someone suggested they might be pricing it. At that price they just wont be able to compete with the bargin basement prices on fullsize trucks right now, and for the forseeable future. Plus the glut of used trucks on the market will make this a dud at that price. It needs to be a $15-16K truck, especially coming from India with no track record. I hope they figure that out before they bring it here because I would really be interested in buying this truck if I haven't gotten a cheap F-150 by then, you know for well under $20K.
Hitting the 2010 EPA diesel emission levels at a low price point should be interesting....if they actually do it.
Is anybody else getting a laugh out of a possible "M&M" badge? HAH! Come on, you would simply HAVE TO just paint it on the hood and doors in white paint or pinstripe tape!
A bit off-topic, today Mahindra launched their agricultural tractors in Turkey, I was there as a reporter, and I used one to plow a field :)