EPA Approves Diesel-Powered Mahindra Compact Pickups

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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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  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Aug 21, 2010

    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.

  • 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.

  • Deezul Deezul on Aug 23, 2010

    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.

  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Aug 23, 2010

    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.......