By on August 20, 2010

After numerous delays and a lawsuit by Mahindra’s US distributor, the Indian firm’s diesel-powered compact pickups have been approved by the EPA, reports the WSJ [sub].

Originally set for an August 2009 debut, Mahindra’s 2.2 liter diesel four-cylinder pickups will go on sale in the US shortly (exact dates have not yet been confirmed) at one of the 350 dealerships set up by Global Vehicles Inc. By the end of this year, the Mahindra Pickup will also be joined by the firm’s Scorpio compact SUV. Mahindra has not yet commented on how the EPA’s ruling will affect Global Vehicles’ lawsuit against it, but one imagines that the two firms will set aside their differences and work together to make the Pickup launch as successful as possible. After all, the US launch still faces numerous challenges. Mahindra not only missed a window of opportunity in which diesel was cheaper than gas, it’s also squandered considerable goodwill from the media, by continually delaying the Pickup’s release and failing to communicate openly about its plans. Still, we’ve been agitating for rugged, third-world-style compact pickups in the US for long enough to be pretty excited about the EPA’s ruling. Now we just need to drive the thing and start watching its sales numbers. And with several major OEMs contemplating reinvestment in the compact pickup market, we won’t be the only ones.

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25 Comments on “EPA Approves Diesel-Powered Mahindra Compact Pickups...”

  • avatar

    Hopefully this will usher in a whole slew of diesel powered light duty pickups and small SUVs. I can’t say I’d buy one of these, but maybe a Tacoma with a similar powerplant and price tag.

  • avatar

    Ok, there’s an EPA approval. Is there a NHTSA one yet?

    Still calling vaporware.

  • avatar

    Here is a review of the SUV from this company:

  • avatar

    Since the truck is delayed, maybe Fisker can borrow their ad agency.

  • avatar

    Do we have any real idea of how much their trucks are going to cost? I know it can carry a much heavier payload than similar sized vehicles, but IMHO, if it can’t seriously undercut the current Ranger, Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon in price, then it will take some serious convincing to get people to drive it. I mean it really is one ugly truck.

  • avatar

    How did this get through the EPA? And how is the EPA classifying it?

  • avatar

    It seems very much like a niche vehicle that has limited appeal to the mass market. I’m not confident that it would perform as well as, or be as versatile as the current crop of smaller 4-cylinder pickups (Ranger, Colorado, Canyon, Tacoma, Frontier, Equator).

    Still, if priced right, it could well develop a small cult following.

  • avatar

    I think I saw pricing on these starting at $28-30k.

  • avatar

    May it be just successful enough to inspire Ford to bring over the Australian-spec Ranger.

  • avatar

    At those prices it won’t be successful. At $18-22k it would do ok but even lower would be more in line with its value.

  • avatar

    I’m not certain on that price, but I looked around online and it seemed way too high to me. This was maybe a year ago one of their press releases came out or TTAC was covering the endless PR hustle.

  • avatar

    Well, I was wrong, I thought this was never going to happen after all the delays. But, as someone else mentioned, has it passed a crash test yet?

  • avatar

    I won’t believe it’s real until Baruth gets one as a press vehicle…

  • avatar

    “At those prices it won’t be successful. At $18-22k it would do ok but even lower would be more in line with its value.”

    Nodding oblate=spheroid-shaped head violently up and down in vehement agreement with quoted statement.

    Make the truck at a bare-bones minimalist level to get it out the door as inexpensively as possible so as to get exposure and hopefully a reputation for reliability AND have add-ons that can be purchased later and an option sheet to allow more profit and all the other typical tactics to maximize profit BUT….. get that price DOWN!!!!!!!

    The USA is destined to become a sub-1st-world country for a growing percentage of its citizens.

    The firm that prepares for that now will reap the rewards later.

    Citizens of adequate means who take the proper steps now for future USA events may either survive themselves or have off-spring who will be able to survive.

    Teach yer’ vile spawn some basic survival skills and how to act rather than just react.

    When society collapses it could be quick and likely bloody and very brutal.

    • 0 avatar

      The USA is destined to become a sub-1st-world country for a growing percentage of its citizens.

      That’s total BS. Yes, the US is having some economic trouble, and yes, it might be a few more years before we completely pull ourselves out, but you don’t go from the envy of the world regarding lifestyle and economic potential to a second tier nation in the blink of an eye, at least not in the modern world.

      The recent economic troubles have actually helped a lot of people trying to get their start. Being a late 20 something myself, I wouldn’t have been able to afford a mortgage on a decent house four years ago, but last year I was able to buy a four bedroom completely remodeled home in an established neighborhood in a mid-sized FL city for a good chunk less than $100K. The market correction did hurt a lot of people who were banking on the ridiculous real estate trends to continue, but it also helped a lot of people who were responsible with their money and who had been priced out of the market.

      There are still plenty of people buying $50K fullsize pickup trucks, and the F-series and GM (combined sales) trucks still take the top two slots for US vehicle sales, it’s still a huge market. The basest of the base F-250 2wd 2010 Diesel truck goes for about $25K after a huge $7K rebate and true dealer cost just to blow them off the lots. This is a single cab, non folding bench seat, no cruise, no CD, plain vinyl, steely wheels, true work truck. If Mahindra can undercut this price by a few thousand, offer superior fuel economy, and some amenities, they could have a winner on their hands.

  • avatar

    I drove the SUV around India while living there, it was a great vehicle for the market…and roads, ruts and short cuts across pavements, (sidewalks).
    BTW I want to change my handle, no longer in lala land…how to do that?

  • avatar

    I’ll wait for a review or until I see one myself.

    The bloat of compact pickups has left a hole in the market. I hope they offer the hinged flatbed for the USDM.

    Sales wise its as dead as the nameless red shirted ensign on Star Trek if they price it much above $25k.

    • 0 avatar

      Hope you’re right, but for the most part, US pickups aren’t work trucks – their owners are buying into some updated cowboy fantasy. The proof is in the capped beds, which suggest that a van would have been a better choice for hauling anything you might want to keep dry, secure, and (un)load easily.

      Indian pickup doesn’t fit the cowboy image, so they’ll need to find sales among people doing actual work and willing to try something unknown.

  • avatar

    Sure Mahindra is a vapor, missed the boat, too expensive, ugly, unsafe rustmobile. Who cares! It was an article of faith for many that EPA stood athwart of the path to the diesel paradise… Urine was too expensive, inconvenient, chained you to a Merc dealer. And now all of this was proven false.

    What are your excuses now, Chrysler? Put diesel into Wrangler tomorrow.

    That said, no word on CARB decision yet. We may be looking at a 49-state truck, just like CRD Liberty.

  • avatar

    I think what we’d love to see in the US is a Toyota Hilux diesel, priced appropriately.

    The ‘chicken tax’/EPA/DOT precludes this as a direct choice, so we look to Mahindra as a substitute.

    The US driver really could function just fine with most PUs being 4-banger Toyos/Nissans, but the D3 would die in a matter of minutes in that competitive market.

    Choices and all that.

  • avatar

    Not so sure…

    GM has Isuzu. Or at least a stake in Isuzu… Isuzu’s major offering in the light truck segment in Asia is basically an iteration of the Chevy Colorado / Isuzu i-series. Not cutting edge in the market, but Isuzu has a good reputation for its simpler diesels (though it’s lost ground to Hyundai in terms of common-rail technology).

    Ford’s global Ranger is more competitive with the Hilux crowd, but I don’t know if they have the lines to produce it inside the US.

  • avatar

    There’s always a next hurdle… lawsuit, crash testing, pricing… yada yada. The fact that Mahindra passed EPA is a huge event and signals to me that there are no hurdles it will not be able to get over. And I thank them for that, for at least trying to do something that none of the so called “established” automakers have been able to do… namely bring out a workhorse that gets 30MPG. I hope Mahindra wins, or at least is able to knock some sense into the incumbents.

  • avatar

    Doesn’t look that bad. Would fit right in next to the cartoonish Colorado/Canyon.
    Maybe this will open the door to importation of the Hindustan Ambassador…….

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