Mahindra Delay: No News

Posted by: David Kiley on August 27, 2008

mahindra.jpg

Automotive News this week reported that Indian auto/truck maker Mahindra and Mahindra is delaying launch by six months to the fourth quarter of 2009. This, in fact, was known months ago, which is why Mahindra dealers haven’t begun building showrooms.

Since anything can happen to further delay a launch, dealers will wait until the last possible time to erect showrooms.

Mahindra, which said months ago it was delaying launch from mid 2009 to the end of the year, right now has a handful of pickup trucks being durability tested in Wisconsin. This Fall, the test will be expanded to 25 vehicles. The company plans to launch with a pickup truck in late 2009, and follow with an SUV a year or 18 months later.

According to sources, the chief concern of the company is to make sure that trucks are spot-on in terms of fit and finish and won’t be prone to early recalls for quality issues. Mahindra is anxious to avoid the Hyundai syndrome (quality problems that set in shortly after launch sunk the brand for a decade.

If there is a concern among executives at Mahindra, and U.S. distributor Global Vehicles, it is the continuing high price of diesel in the U.S. All of Mahindra’s vehicles are diesels, and expected to get around 30 mpg. Diesel today, nationally, is about $4.15 per gallon on average, compared with $3.69 for gasoline.

Mahindra is developing a “cost-per-mile” marketing and education campaign to support the case for buying diesel vehicles. The other concern is convincing pickup truck buyers to trade down to a smaller size truck. To that end, the Indian company is focusing on making sure the pickup (as yet un-named but previously called the Appalachia) can tow a typical bass boat, with total towing weight perhaps reaching 3,500 pounds.

Reader Comments

Bill Senefsky

August 28, 2008 11:08 AM


Ah yes, another global import...

Who cares? Yet another quickie brand that

has no dealer organization or support.

Daewoo anyone?

From Kiley: Actually, Global vehicles has signed up North of 300 dealers. And unlike Daewoo, Mahindra is a very financially successful company. The comparison doesn't work.

skeptic

August 29, 2008 10:38 PM

wow. Did you see the grille on that thing? Does Jeep know they are trying to copy their grille??????

More reason why they will fail -- not original

TKE

August 31, 2008 5:33 PM

Unfortunately, the comparison of gasoline prices and efficiency and diesel prices and efficiency doesn't work that well, either. But consumers might'nt care. One way or another, setting the Mahindra aside - we're not that well acquainted with Indian pickups - there are new advantages to diesel besides efficiency. Anybody hear of torque? (http://goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com/2008/04/horsepower-per-cc-diesel-gas.html)

bempey

September 3, 2008 1:22 PM

re Skeptic: "More reason why they will fail -- not original" .... yeah, like total lack of originality is really hurting Toyota or its Benz-clone brand, Lexus!

Mahindra already have dealers and distribution for well-respected tractors in the US.

And don't forget: Jaguar is an Indian company.

Mahindra will likely do well in a niche market (like Suzuki's small SUVs)

Arries

September 4, 2008 1:35 AM

This truck is going to sell like HOTCAKES when people realize what they are getting for their $. (This is assuming the quality is on par with the rest of the truck market.) This truck has a turbo diesel with 300ft/lb of torque, a six speed automatic with selectable paddle shift, available 4wd, available crew cab, etc. I'll bet it gets better than 30mpg. Now, compare that to whats available in the current truck market!

Tanveer Singh

September 4, 2008 3:03 AM

Well, a good marketing campaign strategy alone cannot win you customers and ensure that your brand has some recognition, in order to compete in US Markets, Mahindra need to seriously develop and provide a good After Sales support to win customers, or to persuade them to buy a Mahindra truck.

a great challenge ahead, but if somebody succeds in it, he will be called the next Ratan Tata (Chairman of Tata Motors, who unveiled the Nano concept to the world)

hds

September 8, 2008 12:28 PM

Mahindra can always do like Hyundai and sell to Indian's living in America for the first few years.

I bet farmers are pickier about what tractor they buy than most commuters are about their truck.

susa

September 10, 2008 3:25 AM

very good, a good marketing campaign strategy alone cannot win you customers and ensure that your brand has some recognition, in order to compete in US Markets, Mahindra need to seriously develop and provide a good after sales support to win cusomers, or to persuade them to buy a Mahindra truck.

==============

susa

Used Cars

Justinfitz1

September 24, 2008 10:52 PM

I agree with Arries. They will sell. And I will be the first to buy a mahindra Pickup truck

william e burk

June 18, 2009 11:43 PM

if this company cannot answer some simple questions at corporate india, alpharetta, georgia, and the local franchise in arlington, texas. how the heck do you expect them to be a good, caring, and quality product and service company afte the sale. sounds like they need to get rid of the incompetent trash at the top of their india and usa management teams. whether you like it or not it (the philosophy) starts at the top. grow up become a real company, we do not needanother walmart in this country (where the mgt philosophy- is- it is all about walmart- and we shove our products down you throat whether you like it or not. were bad and we do not care).

w e burk

tim

July 2, 2009 4:59 PM

I don't think convincing truck types to trade down to a smaller size will be difficult. Most of us aren't contractors. We just want towing capability and the utility that an SUV can't provide. To a lot of us, smaller profile means that the truck gets better mileage and is easier to park.

If it's the same size as a Tacoma, that's not very small anyway. Tacomas grew by about a foot in height in 2005. My 95 nissan was pretty much the perfect size. Now all the economy trucks are on steroids. There's nothing currently on the market that matches this thing. Diesel heads will eat it up.

Mandidy

October 10, 2009 3:51 PM

First of all, Mahindra is a well recognized company in India. In us we have more haters on foreign imports and almost all of them drive foreign cars...
when nissan gtr came out lots of haters wrote letters and look what happen now.. gtr is the hot news now..
so if they can come with somewhat quality stuff.. they should do fine... if they can sell dodge neons in us.. mahindra in my opinion is much better than that!!!!!!
it is my opinion......

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