?Mahindra Pickup – USA Debut For 2009 Planned
If you haven’t heard of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) yet, the Indian automaker, you aren’t alone. Founded in 1945, the company’s main market is India but the automaker does export some of its vehicles to western Europe, Russia, South Africa, and Malaysia. However, the company now has its eye on the lucrative US market, with plans to ship its cutting edge Mahindra Scorpio pickup truck to America beginning in 2009.
Will the company follow through on its plans and how will consumers react to an Indian made truck? That remains to be seen, but the seeds have already been planted. Please read on for more information about this interesting car company.
Mahindra sees a big hole in the small truck segment, one that the company intends to fill. Sure, the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and the Chevy Colorado are among the many small trucks available for sale in the US, but Mahindra has something in mind that no other truck offers: at least one version of its Mahindra Appalachian pick up will be a diesel-electric hybrid, an unusual, but potentially highly beneficial truck that the company believes will be warmly received.
Sporting a 2.2L diesel, the standard Appalachian should deliver 30-35 mpg, which is much higher than the class leading 26 mpg for the base Ranger, but the hybrid model would likely top 40 mpg for a truck expected to cost under $25,000.
At present, Mahindra still needs to make sure that that the Appalachian passes stringent US emissions and safety requirements before the truck can go on sale. In addition, a dealer network has to be set up something that could delay the truck’s debut unless the company turns to its existing Mahindra Tractor dealerships to sell the truck, a network already in place across the US. In that case, Mahindra would have a ready made pool of dealers available who are already selling Mahindra products to the same customers who the company thinks would purchase the Appalachian: farmers.
We don’t yet know much about the Appalachian other than to say it could be a real game changer for the pick up truck market. Though diesel fuel is about seventy-five cents higher than regular gasoline, it is about 30% more fuel efficient. Choose a hybrid and that difference will boost fuel economy by at least 50%, something many American farmers would likely embrace.
Quality is one concern that could scuttle the Mahindra, but the good money is on Mahindra to get that right before the truck’s debut.