The Final News, No Mahindra Diesel Pickup for US Market Ever
Years of planning and $100 million dollars later, it is for naught as the Indian manufacture Mahindra announced it is never going to bring the small, diesel pickup to the U.S. The death of the pickup is really a story about the EPA’s stringent rules, poor business relationships and a vision that never had a chance to succeed.
We have been writing about the Mahindra pickup for many years now and the latest news from Mahindra closes an often confusing chapter in the small truck market. Here is a recap of how the story unfolded.
1. In 2006, Mahindra wanted a U.S. distribution partner. They sought out an experienced automotive retail expert, and they ended up with a company called Global Vehicles (GV). This 2007 BusinessWeek.com article quotes one Mahindra exec as saying “We are very impressed with the type of talent pool that GV has put together to help launch Mahindra into the USA.”
2. Mahindra signed a contract with GV, but it contained an “out” clause. Mahindra wanted a chance to cancel their contract with GV if, after 3 years, Mahindra did not certify their vehicles to meet U.S. standards. This three year out clause has been extended twice, most recently to June 2010.
3. Mahindra started to question GV’s distribution plans in March 2010. Since 2007, Global Vehicles has been selling dealers around the USA Mahindra franchises, with fees from $125k-$200k per dealership. Allegedly, Mahindra questioned some aspects of the distribution plan. When GV was unwilling to “fire” some dealers, Mahindra ceased all communication.
4. Mahindra canceled their agreement with GV in June, 2010. Once it became clear Mahindra was going to cancel their contract with GV, GV sued Mahindra arguing that they had intentionally delayed the certification process.
5. Mahindra and Global Vehicles Seem to Reconcile, November 2012. In an email from Mahindra President John Perez, it seems that both companies make up and that production is imminent.
6. Global Vehicles loses case against Mahindra, March 2012. GV ended up suing Mahindra after Mahindra revoked the import agreement that both parties signed. Mahindra says that GV didn’t act in good faith and GV said the contract should still be in force. A British panel found that Mahindra had acted according to the contract and wasn’t at fault. A devastating blow for GV.
7. Mahindra announces the end of all work on a U.S. pickup, July, 2012. Mahindra announces in a statement that it is done working on building any sort of U.S. built pickup due to “… tough U.S. regulations and changes in market conditions … . The news comes a month after the automaker wasn’t able to obtain the certification required to bring the TR40 to the U.S. market, Reuters reports.,” according to a Motor Trend story.
The death of the Mahindra compact, diesel pickup is bad news for any truck buyers hoping for a small diesel pickup in the US. However, here at Tundraheadquarters.com and Tacomahq.com, we have heard lots of rumors that both GM and Chrysler are considering building compact diesel pickups. Maybe the Mahindra was never meant to be or maybe it was just enough pressure to get other automakers to consider a compact diesel.
Who knows if Mahindra will ever restart its import process, right now, the odds are very high that it won’t. What do you think, have you been following the Mahindra story?
Filed Under: Auto News