You may remember the buzz a few years ago about the imminent arrival of the Mahindra compact pickup, complete with a modern Austrian-engineered diesel engine, and a rugged, no nonsense style that promised affordability, economy and back-to-basics functionality.

After EPA testing revealed the vaunted "30 mpg" truck in fact only delivered 19 city and 21 highway, things started going downhill rapidly for Mahindra, and the U.S. import company it was working with, Atlanta-based Global Vehicles U.S.A. Even before the mileage disclosure, the parent company, Mahindra & Mahindra, had already canceled its distributorship agreement with Global Vehicles, and was pursuing setting up its own dealership network in the U.S.

This is the first major victory for the approximately 350 dealers that had signed up to sell the pickups. A prior case brought by a dealer was dismissed because the franchise agreement was with Global Vehicles and not Mahindra, and an independent arbitration panel in London also dismissed claims by Global Vehicles against Mahindra itself. The current suit was filed by five dealers in New Hampshire, Florida, California, New Jersey and Washington state.

Mahindra has been selling light agricultural equipment in the U.S. since 1994. It has U.S. assembly plants in Texas, California and Tennessee.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)