Monday, May 24, 2010

Mahindra Launch: Getting It Right

“It’s more important to get the launch right the first time rather than get hung up on a date. The launch in the U.S.A is a very significant step. It will give us only one chance.” – Pawan Goenka, President Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra

Nick Kurczewski interviewed Goenka last week for The New York Times. Although Goenka is still very non committal in his statements, he is “fairly confident” that the December launch date will happen. However, he does stress that the approach to the US market is far more important than the actual timing.

Kurczewski did confirm once again with Mahindra and US importer, Global Vehicles, that all EPA and crash tests are complete. All government approvals should be in place by the end of June, and production of the US-bound TR20 and TR40 pickups should begin in September of this year. This is a lot of “should”.

According to Goenka, Mahindra expects that the US market to grow again in 2011. This positive outlook is paired with Mahindra’s expectations of gaining 5-7% of the US market share with their compact diesel pickups. Mahindra still plans to introduce the Scorpio SUV (which shares it’s chassis with the TR20 and TR40) later in the year, and will eventually launch an all-new global luxury SUV currently code named W201 in the US.

Pricing for the TR20 and TR40 has still not been set. Goenka tells Kurczewski that a final retail price will not be established until the day before the trucks are launched. Curiously, this sounds as though dealers may not even know how much the trucks are going to sell for until after they actually have them on their lots.

Although this information does little to placate torch-carrying US Mahindra fans, an additional positive piece of news from the article is that Mahindra is actively working to establish a US assembly facility. Goenka indicates that Mahindra hopes to begin assembling vehicles in the United States six to eight months after sales begin.

The entire NYT article is HERE

Source: The New York Times

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You say he’s being “non committal.” I think the fact that he’s spoken to the NYT, WSJ and Automotive News tells me that he has clarity on when the launch will happen. I’m pretty sure he understands the importance of speaking to some of the nation’s biggest publications.

All I can say is that I welcome his announcement – definitely great to hear it from a senior executive at Mahindra. As long as there are no other midsize diesel pickups in the market, I’m happy to wait for Mahindra’s workhorses…