Unsurprising News Of The Day: Mahindra Gets Ssangyong

The drawn-out drama of who would get what was left of the busted SAIC-Ssangyong deal has come to an – at least preliminary- end. Oneindia reports that India’s Mahindra & Mahindra bought the pieces of Korean Ssangyong. TTAC readers are not surprised.

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Mahindra US Launch Back On For Spring 2011?

The road to the US market has been a rough one for Mahindra, with lawsuits, delays of EPA certification and more holding up a launch that should have taken place over a year ago. And after the Indian automaker rejected an order this summer from its US distributor, Global Vehicles, we basically gave up hope on seeing the diesel-powered, 4X4 pickups and SUVs in the land of the free. Luckily, Mahindras are used to rough roads, and if an email that just landed in my inbox is anything to go on (please note the Wild Ass Rumor heading on this post), the venture may just be pulling through. Or perhaps it’s just pulling our leg. Hit the jump for a letter from Global Vehicles president John Perez…

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What's Wrong With This Picture: The Mahindra America's Been Missing Edition
Mahindra may have screwed up its US distribution deal (OK, somebody screwed it up), but perhaps the problem was simply that the Indian firm hadn’t suff…
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Bonus Gallery: The Evolution Of The Ssangyong Korando

Since Mahindra doesn’t seem to be giving its self-destructed US distribution channel much attention, we couldn’t help but wonder what exactly is more important to the Indian firm than a little PR the world’s second [sigh] largest car market in the world. The answer, of course, is its acquisition of Ssangyong, a South Korean automaker known only to Americans as the maker of the legendarily ugly Rodius (to be fair, regular TTAC readers may also recall Ssangyong’s bid for world’s ugliest bankruptcy declaration). But the meeting point between Ssangyong and Mahindra isn’t styling, it’s diesel and four-wheel-drive.

Despite the fact that Ssangyong is still technically in receivership, there are still 25 dealers selling its products in Australia on the strength of the motto “We Live Diesel,” while Mahindra has 40 diesel-only Australian dealers. Recently Ssangyong revived the nameplate given to its original product, Korando, for a new model that reportedly launches in Australia later this year. Looking at the evolution of the Korando, from original CJ7 clone to the forthcoming model (which reportedly boasts a 174 hp, 337 lb-ft “German-designed” diesel engine, and available FWD or AWD), one can’t help but wonder where Mahindra sees itself going.

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Breaking: Mahindra Dumps US Distributor
Just days after Mahindra’s diesel-powered compact pickups were approved by the EPA for sale in the US, the Indian automaker apparently canceled its dis…
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EPA Approves Diesel-Powered Mahindra Compact Pickups

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].

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Mahindra One Step Closer To Ssangyong

I know that stories about who will buy a down and out Korean carmaker called Ssangyong are not a major click-through magnet. Therefore, just for the record: Ssangyong selected India’s Mahindra & Mahindra as the preferred bidder to acquire a majority stake. And just in case, they named India’s Raghav Industries as the secondary preferred bidder, says The Nikkei [sub].

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Indian's Mahindra After Korea's Ssangyong

India’s Mahindra & Mahindra is putting in a binding bid to buy a majority stake in troubled South Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor. Ssangyong went bankrupt in 2009 after China’s SAIC dropped the ball. They nearly went up in flames, when militant workers incited a riot and threatened to blow up the paint shop.

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Where Are Those NSFWing Mahindra Pickups Already?

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?

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Quote Of The Day: The Case Of The Missing Mahindras Edition

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!

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Renault Divorces Mahindra & Mahindra

The emerging car market in India isn’t emerging fast enough to keep some car companies alive. Three years after Renault started to build its low-cost Logan in India, Renault is pulling out. The ho-hum sales come as no surprise to the attentive TTAC reader. As previously noted, India sells in a year what China consumes in a month in terms of cars.

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US Mahindra Launch Pushed Back To "Middle Spring"
Not long ago we wondered what the hell Mahindra was up to, as the Indian firm had delayed its US launch seemingly indefinitely. Thanks to Pickuptrucks.com, w…
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Indian Automakers To Rescue Sicilian Fiat Plant?
In Italian tradition, there’s not a lot of love lost between the Southern and Northern parts of the country. In part, because the North has always held…
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What's Wrong With This Picture: Mahindra MIA Edition
Autoblog ran this picture purporting to show the locations of future dealers of Mahindra and Mahindra pickup trucks. This piqued our interest because we&rsq…
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  • Zerog Isn't this the car that the self anointed AutoExtremist said would finally shut down Tesla AND the Prius?Just like his father - that Detroit bubble does him no good
  • Zerog When will the media admit that Mary Barra has simply been a disaster of a CEO, and "Dan the Man" Akerson is to blame?
  • Tassos When the Volt was on sale, it cost twice as much as the (better looking!) Chevy Cruze on which it was based. The interior of the Volt did not match that lofty price either. I like plug-in vehicles with a good Electric only range and no range anxiety. People with a 40 mile commute each way, if they were allowed to free charge at the office especially, could save some $ with the Volt, but not as much as to justify its lofty price.The 2nd gen VOlt was less nerdy looking than the 1st, but also even more similar to the new Cruze and indeed the Civic, which cost almost HALF. Then the geniuses at GM made a 2-door Caddy out of the Volt, the ELR, which was much smaller inside than the already cramped Volt, and... asked for... 4 times the price of the CRUZE. Don't remember the failed Caddy Cimarron? Neither did those morons.So a good idea in principle was screwed beyond recognition. GM Bled billions despite the lofty price, sold a bunch of VOlts, and finally had to cry "UNCLE". The end.I am not at all attracted by the VOlt's lousy interior. Its gas only MPG is also lousy compared to the ICE competition. A prius was 50% cheaper and far more sophisticated mechanically and got a stellar 50 MPG overall, and could be had in plugin with 10-20 mile range (the current one will double that again).
  • Buickman GM marketing killed many a car.