Mahindra Suddenly The Talk of The Town

Posted by: David Kiley on June 17, 2008

mahindra.jpg

Indian pickup and SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra has been quietly gearing up to launch its brand in the U.S. in early 2010. But the company has been anything but quiet this week.

First, just-auto.com reports that the company is in talks with General Motors about its Hummer brand. GM has said that it is exploring options on Hummer whose gas guzzling nature is suddenly very much out of fashion with American consumers. Too, GM is out to raise cash. The other news on Mahindra is that Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs reported that it bought a 3.72% stake in the Indian company last month for $172 million.

Mahindra had surfaced in the discussions with Ford about possibly buying Jaguar and Land Rover. But Mahindra rival Tata walked away with the two British brands.

Mahindra & Mahindra is planning on launching is diesel powered pickup and SUV in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010. That scheme, of selling high fuel economy pickups and SUVs through more than 200 dealers who have signed up, is getting somewhat more complicated given the premium that oil companies are charging for diesel fuel relative to regular petrol.

The vehicles are being launched via Global Vehicles, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based company. Though Mahindra & Mahindra will be new to most vehicle buyers, it is a brand that is no stranger to tractor buyers. M&M tractors have been sold in the U.S. for about a decade, and they hold the no. 3 market share. Indeed, satisfied tractor owners are considered to be the likely first wave of buyers of Mahindra pickups and SUVs.

Buying Hummer may sounds like a bad idea. But Mahindra is a truck and SUV specialist, and could possibly manufacture them more cost effectively, and with diesel engines to make them more fuel efficient. And like Tata is going to find a lot of under developed markets for those two British brands in Asia, the Middle East, India and South America, so to might Mahindra make more out of Hummer than GM has been able to.

Reader Comments

Glenn Reid

June 18, 2008 4:26 PM

New clean diesel is the way to go. But the big 3 in North America especially GM management, who don't have a clue about marketing still think V8's are the way to go and that the American public are to stupid to appreciate a clean high mileage diese.

Dinesh

June 18, 2008 10:51 PM

Your article clearly shows that you have never driven a Mahindra vehicle nor do you know the history of the company.
Till recently, and probably even now, Mahindra made the Jeep in India. Almost uptil 1995 the Mahindra Jeep was no different than the original Jeep made in 1940; this is the extent of the technological development of this company.
Mahindra once exhibited their Jeep (around 1995) in the Hanover Fair in Germany and many of the visitors commented that this Jeep was like a diesel driven bullock cart.
Mahindra does not have a single auto innovation to its credit so your thought of this company succeeding in North America is an indication of your depth of knowledge about the company.

Jerry

June 19, 2008 9:21 AM

Why are we letting Mahindra & Mahindra come into the US market? Unless things have changed since I looked a India's import/export restrictions, their market was was very limited to US car companies. If that is still the case, we should keep them out unless they allow access to their markets.

Cliff

June 19, 2008 3:54 PM

I think alot of buyers would appreciate a simpler, rugged and perhaps less expensive product that works.

steve

June 19, 2008 11:04 PM

I like the Mahindra tractors very much. I will not hestitate to buy the pick-up from Mahindra when it goes on sale in the US.

I think it is time to be Global so lets think, act and be global in the US otherwise we will fall behind.

steve

June 19, 2008 11:05 PM

I like the Mahindra tractors very much. I will not hestitate to buy the pick-up from Mahindra when it goes on sale in the US.

I think it is time to be Global so lets think, act and be global in the US otherwise we will fall behind.

steve

June 19, 2008 11:05 PM

I like the Mahindra tractors very much. I will not hestitate to buy the pick-up from Mahindra when it goes on sale in the US.

I think it is time to be Global so lets think, act and be global in the US otherwise we will fall behind.

Cam

June 20, 2008 1:52 AM

I hear VW is also developing a compact diesel pickup for the USA. I intend to buy a 4x4 compact diesel pickup. I will evaluate those available by 2010, and select the best value available. I would hope Ford, Nissan, Mazda, and Toyota would bring their offerings that are already available elsewhere in the world. If GM and Ford won't build what I want, I will buy from whoever will.

Don

June 20, 2008 6:58 AM

Right on Glenn! If the big 3 want to live to see the end of the next decade, they will need to get it through their thick skulls that it is no longer 1957. Inasmuch as I oftentimes wish it still was........

Jay

June 20, 2008 12:31 PM

Why? Because Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, and even US brands like Ford and Chevy, won't sell us the vehicles we need. Want a 4-door, 4WD compact pickup that gets 50 MPG? Move to the UK, where the Isuzu D-Max has hit that mark 2 years in a row. Or a diesel Hi-Lux, or Ford Ranger? Not available in the US. Detroit has spent millions to lobby Congress to put in place bizarre emissions requirements that punish 4 cylinder diesels but let V-8s off easy. Now they are about to get spanked by a company that isn't willing to bet that American buyers are as stupid as Detroit and the politicians they've bought think we are.

We'll see if they're right.

ian

June 20, 2008 8:13 PM

1 i love having a pickup

2 i have a 22 mile drive to work

3 i hate getting stuck in the snow

i currently drive a 4 cyl 2wd s10 it does great in the mpg dept 27-30 mpg
but it has little power and not much traction on the cold wet white stuff.
this truck would be a godsend...a 4wd that does better than my smaller 2wd!!!

ill take a regular cab with cd and air and standard trans please!

Ross

June 20, 2008 9:20 PM

I am pretty satisfied with the quality and cost of the Mahindra tractor line (I own three.) If they can extend this kind of quality and cost efficiency to a no-nonsense, diesel pickup, I wouldn't have any reservations buying one.

Good luck Mahindra!

JAMES L

June 22, 2008 10:11 AM

IT'S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE GAVE THE BIG-3 SERIOUS COMPETTION. THE SMALL TRUCK MARKET HAS REALLY BEEN CLOSED BY ONLYOFFERING THE TOYOTA TACOMA AND FORD/MAZDA RANGER. AND NO DIESEL OPTIONS, MAKE IT HARD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THESE TRUCKS AT LOW-20-SOMETHING MPG AND A FULL SIZE TRUCK.I REALLY MISS TRUCKS LIKE MY 1991 MAZDA B2600i, NOT A REBADGE "FOUND ON THE ROAD DAILY-FORD".

JEFF

June 30, 2008 2:39 PM

Mahindra will be here to stay. There are approx 300 dealers already signed up and ready to distribute these diesel suv's and trucks right now in the US. The ywill get approx 40 mpg in a third seat suv, almost no emmisions, and with a diesel hybrid to foolow the next year! The warranty is going to be 4 years or 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, and one dealer ( me ) will have unlimited powertrain warranty on everyone that i sell. I have seen them, crawled inside them, etc... They will be a niche' vehicle that will be a breakthrough for the US market!

Huck

July 6, 2008 1:11 PM

I have been following news stories about this vehicle since 2006.

I would line up to buy one next week if they were available. All the other trucks in the USA get lousy mileage. I still don't understand why we should have to live with 14-18 MPG just so we can tow 5000 lbs, when the rest of the world gets to drive Holden Rodeos, Toyota Hi-Lux, and Isuzu D-Max pickups.

Jeff, let us know where your dealership is. I want to be your first customer.

Robert

July 7, 2008 11:55 AM

I tried to import a new Hi-Lux into Canada and couldn't. I'll buy the first truck that comes with over 40mpg. Who's it going to be???

J.J. Lasne

August 20, 2008 1:30 AM

It is going to be cheap, it is going to fail crash tests, it will break down often. Imagine owning a Yugo or a Lada back in the 80' s. You better off waiting for new offerings from Japan and America. There is a difference between farm tractors and SUV's/automobiles although Lamborghini makes tractors and look at their cars...

T.I

August 23, 2008 12:45 PM

TO "J.J LASNE"...DONT COMPARE CAR OFFERINGS FROM JAPAN AND AMERICA...JAPAN HAS FAR BETTER CARS THAN AMERICA...M&M HAVE A BETTER CHANCE THAN AMERICAN CARS...FYI IT IS BUILT FOR THE TOUGH ROADS IN INDIA...GLUCK M&M AND HOPE TO SEE LOTS OF THEM ON THE ROAD

Jimmy In Tx

August 27, 2008 9:34 PM

J.J. I want it to be cheap, that is kind of the point. I don't really care if it fails crash tests it is a truck. But I think you will be very suprised by the overall quality for the price. Mahindra goes out of their way to make problems right on their tractors (the few times they have them). I am sure they will do the same for their trucks I am looking forward to checking them out when they hit dealerships.

Gene in Texas

September 28, 2008 6:44 PM

I say let the market sort it out. There is no such thing as a economical (fuel mileage) SUV or pickup in the USA. Detroit shoves big V8's whether gas or diesel down our throats with no other options. I own a full size SUV (diesel)in another country that gets 30 mpg. It is not available in the US and it is not legal for me to import it here either.

Sal

November 6, 2008 3:46 PM

I am doing some research on the Mahindra and the information provided is very limited. Can somebody please provide me with more links or web sites?

From Kiley: have you fully explored the mahindra and mahindra website and established a Google Alerts for the company so that all references come to you daily in an e-mail?

Glenn Frazier

August 28, 2009 1:24 PM

I would love to see the American Market swamped with a Truck that can get 40 MPG. The American Catr Dealers are raping us everyday with their lousy 14 to 25 mile per gallon vehicles. They just keep getting richer off of our not demanding cheaper to operate vehicles. If it can be done in other countries by Ford & GM why don't they do it here. You know why because they would not get rich over night. They are a bunch of lunatics in Washington and other places.

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