Mahindra Rumored to Push Truck Launch Until Summer 2010
Although it had originally planned to launch its pickup trucks in North America around this time, reports suggest Mahindra may be forced to delay its U.S. debut once again.
We reported back in December that Mahindra had completed some testing, but still needed to complete DOT and NHTSA certification. At the time, the company felt it was on-track for February approval, but that checkpoint has since passed, leaving nearly 300 dealers waiting for product to sell.
Although the company has yet to publically clarify the situation, some dealers tell Automotive News that a launch should come in a few months' time. Dealers say they have received an increased rate of communication with Global Vehicles, the firm in charge of importing the trucks to North America.
"You will see Mahindra here this summer," dealer Chip Bennett told Automotive News. "I'm totally confident of that. And I think very soon we'll be hearing all the details."
Delays have been tied to certifying the trucks with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but may also lie with Mahindra itself. Global Vehicles requested a number of changes to the product back in 2007 to make it suitable for U.S. tastes. The Indian automaker complied, but then insisted on extensively testing the revised vehicles.
When they are finally certified for U.S. sale, Mahindra will offer both two- and four-door pickups, each equipped with a 2.2-liter turbo-diesel I-4 and a six-speed automatic transmission. The package will reportedly return 30 mpg on the highway, have a payload capacity of roughly 2700 pounds, and cost approximately $22,000.
Source: Automotive News