Monday, August 31, 2009 Mahindra Test Drive on US Soil!

Late last week,’s Mike Levine posted great article describing their test drive of non-US versions of the Mahindra TR20 and Mahindra Scorpio SUV. Again, these aren’t the exact trucks the US will be getting, but are close enough for a decent evaluation.

“What we found was that parts of the trucks managed to only live up to our low
expectations, but we also came away impressed -- no, stunned really -- by how
well the trucks are setup in certain areas.”

The article contains no hard performance data, just a seat of the pants evaluation. Levine does praise the pickup’s handling and ride, but gives the truck demerits for poor interior quality, fit, and finish. The Scorpio did not have the larger 2.5 liter mHawk diesel, but did have the US version 6-speed automatic mated to the 2.2 liter mHawk. The automatic did receive high praise for shifting well, and not hunting gears (as many 5 and 6 speed automatics tend to do in truck applications).

“Overall, we’re impressed with Mahindra’s four-cylinder diesel pickup truck –
much more so than before we drove it. The interior has glaring weaknesses but if
this truck can live up to Global Vehicle’s marketing hype of up to 30 mpg,
1.3-tons of payload and 5,000 pounds of towing ability, Mahindra and Global
Vehicles will have a pickup truck like no other to sell to U.S. truck buyers.
They’ll effectively be competing in a segment of one and in cases where a heavy
duty diesel is overkill for the application, we think they’ll be an excellent
alternative to help out on a farm or construction site.”

Overall, Levine seemed satisfied with his time in both trucks. Now we just have to wait until the US versions are on the streets and ready for a thorough shakedown!

For the complete article: Taj Mahauler

Photo: via

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good News: Mahindra Resumes Search for US Pickup and SUV Manufacturing Plant

A Tweet from @PickupTrucks ( early this morning alerted MahindraPlanet to news that Pravin Shah, executive vice president of international operations for Mahindra & Mahindra, told journalists in India that Mahindra is considering purchasing a manufacturing facility in the United States for vehicles based on the Scorpio platform. The Scorpio platform is the chassis that the TR20, TR40, and Mahindra Scorpio SUV are all based on.

Mahindra’s original plan for the TR20 and TR40 pickup was to manufacture parts and sub-assemblies in India, then complete final assembly on US soil. In February, those plans were then scrapped for unknown reasons. Shah’s recent comments make a clear statement that Mahindra intends for the United States to be their largest export market, and Mahindra wishes to manufacture product for the US market, in the US market.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Mahindra Hy-Alfa Mini-Truck: Hydrogen Power to the People?

So, it’s not news on the US-bound TR20 or TR40 pickups, but it does show some of the alternative thinking that Mahindra engages in.

The Mahindra Hy-Alfa is an inner-city utility vehicle. These vehicles are commonly seen in the densely populated metropolis of Asian countries. The vehicles allow the operator to carry a decent amount of whatever they are transporting, yet still effectively negotiate traffic-jammed streets with relative ease. What sets the Hy-Alfa apart from the congested masses is that it’s fueled by Hydrogen.

H2 may not be the most practical (or even safest) fueling solution around, but the intent to create a carbon-free urban transporter is there. The point to be gathered here is that Mahindra is trying to stand out as an innovator in alternatively fueled vehicles.

Read the press release on Autoblog Green: Mahindra Hy-Alfa

Photo: AutoblogGreen

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Officially Official: No US Mahindra Pickups Until 2010

Scooped by The Auto Writer this morning, Mahindra North America’s importer, Global Vehicles USA, Inc., has stated that no Mahindra TR20 0r TR40 pickups will be available to US customers in 2009.

Global Vehicles is claiming that product tweaking is the reason for the delay. It’s been well documented in the past that Mahindra contracted JD Powers and Associates to conduct initial evaluations of the pickup to ensure a high level of quality for the US market product.

Global Vehicles also mentions that cosmetic changes are part of the delay. As we’ve already seen, Mahindra unveiled the cosmetically revised Australian market PikUp last month. This leaves MahindraPlanet to speculate: What are the specific items causing the delay?

This is a bummer for many people have either reserved a Mahindra TR at their local dealer, or have been highly anticipating their test drive via the Mahindra NA website. Maybe more significantly, this is a blow to the dealers who are heavily committed to making Mahindra’s US launch a huge success.

The pressure is on Mahindra to ensure that after many delays, the TR20 and TR40 pickups do not disappoint when they finally launch.

For the full story visit: The Auto Writer

Monday, August 3, 2009

US Mahindra TR Pickup Available in February 2010

In an unaccredited post, MahindraNC’s fine blog reaffirms previous statements made by John Perez, CEO of GV USA (Mahindra’s US importer) that Mahindra trucks will be “delivered to dealers in calendar year 2009”, but full-scale US sales will commence in the 1st quarter of 2010.

The MahindraNC post quotes Mahindra & Mahindra Automotive Sector President, Pawan Goenka, as saying “We will start production of Mahindra ‘Pik-up’ utility vehicle by December this year for the US, and by end-February next year, the vehicle will be sold there (in the US).”

Delays of the Mahindra US launch have been well documented in the automotive media. Understandably so, given the current global economic crisis, and general difficulty in bringing any new vehicle into the United States. It is also likely that Mahindra wants to ensure that the US-bound vehicles will meet the expectations of US customers who will require a high level of quality right from the start.

Source: MahindraNC Blog