Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer of Discontent: An Open Letter to Mahindra and Global Vehicles


Several individuals have emailed us or left comments in past couple of weeks. First of all, we want to thank you for the great comments and support! However, it seems that many readers are very skeptical about Mahindra vehicles ever actually making it to US shores and we want to address this concern.

MahindraPlanet
First off, we want to be completely transparent: MahindraPlanet.com is a fan and news blog about Mahindra trucks. MahindraPlanet is NOT affiliated with Mahindra U.S.A, Inc., Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, or Global Vehicles U.S.A., Inc. The only vested interest we have is to satisfy our own personal fascination with Mahindra trucks and news about Mahindra in North America. We also hope that readers will support our advertisers and in turn, support the blog financially.

Secondly, we have our own reservations as well. Global Vehicles (GV) is the face of Mahindra on-road vehicles in the US. Global Vehicles is not responsive to requests from MahindraPlanet, or from individuals who have also contacted them directly. A bit baffling, since we would expect that GV and Mahindra would love to promote the brand and get information out there to build anticipation for Mahindra pickups and SUVs.

Mahindra Marketing
Mahindra has been very specific about creating a grassroots level advertising campaign for the TR20, TR40, and subsequent models. MahindraPlanet feels that this blog, other news sites, and great forums (like TractorByNet.com and ExpeditionPortal.com) are a huge asset to the promotion of Mahindra in the US and abroad. We are very curious as to why GV and Mahindra do not seem to utilize this media.

It is our opinion that Mahindra & Mahindra is very serious about entering the US vehicle market. They have clearly stated that they see the US becoming their top export market. Mahindra has also taken the time to submit a vehicle to JD Powers and Associates for feedback, to ensure a successful launch. We believe this dedication to providing a quality product is partially to blame for launch delays.

It is also our opinion that several dealers are very excited about the Mahindra product. MahindraNC and Mississippi Mahindra are clearly active in their early marketing efforts and maintain current websites with news, blogs, and information.

We have no doubt that Mahindra and the US dealer network are onboard. However, our reservations lie with Global Vehicles. News is slow and they are silent. We wonder why they aren’t clearly promoting Mahindra trucks, delays or not. We still don’t even know if TR20 and TR40 are actually the official names for these pickups. It seems that Mahindra is relying on GV (as importer and marketer) to be the voice of Mahindra trucks in the US, but they aren’t speaking.

Open Letter to Mahindra and Global Vehicles
In an internet age when secrets are hard to keep, Mahindra (through GV) seems to hold onto a lot of details that people really want to know (dealers, performance, pricing, etc.). The latest news suggests that the official launch will be in February of 2010. That’s only six months away. It seems to us that this is a great time to build some buzz for the brand. No Facebook, no MySpace, no Twitter… why?

Mahindra and Global Vehicles, if you are listening, understand that you have a lot of fans. Many of whom are already sold on Mahindra trucks. But please also understand that we are hungry for more information. Understand that if you treat us like part of the family, you will build brand loyalty before the first tire touches the road. If you remain a stoic and faceless entity, you will lose customers before you even have a product to sell. This is Web 2.0 Marketing 101, just look at what Mahindra USA does with their website.

MahindraPlanet encourages Mahindra, GV USA, and US dealers to engage this blog. MahindraPlanet also encourages Mahindra to engage other news sites and forums. Ask for our opinions (we do want manual transmissions!). Speak to us on a personal level and listen to us when we ask questions or make suggestions.

Mahindra, we hope you are listening.

10 comments:

joecallimachus@hotmail.com said...

It does seem kind of funny about the lack of response from GV, especially since they hired Strawberry Frog to to their advertising. SF is known for developing an online culture for the brands it advertises. They state that Mahindra needs to "drive brand awareness/emotional connection" through "appropriate experiential media"

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10593410/FinalUSMahindraDebriefMay14_JDB

And what's with the 200,000 mile warranty that SF talks about in their debrief??

joecallimachus@hotmail.com said...

And now their website has expired. I went there like I do every day hoping for an update but now it just says:

http://www.gv-mahindra.com/
gv-mahindra.com expired on 09/03/2009 and is pending renewal or deletion.

From Network Solutions

Damm, I really want this truck to succeed.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to dig into this one and get back to you.

Don

Anonymous said...

Okay, it's later.
We like to hear their response now.

Anonymous said...

Very unscientific poll.

I have a picture of the black TR20 on my desktop at work (high school library) EVERY kid that has looked at it thinks it's a cool looking truck.

Christian J Winfield said...

MahindraPlanet will never take itself or it's polls seriously! Definitely not intended to be scientific, it's purely there for fun.

We agree, it has a unique look, and we think it looks pretty sweet.

Anonymous said...

"Ask for our opinions (we do want manual transmissions!)."

Absolutely - and let's hope Mahindra is taking note. The omission of optional manual transmission is a glaring oversight which many hope this company will remedy in the near future.

brett said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.
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