Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Official: Mahindra Has Now Pissed Off Everyone in the USA broke news yesterday (via that US-based vehicle importer, Global Vehicles, USA, has filed a lawsuit against Indian SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Limited.

Global Vehicles USA, Inc is the Alpharetta, Georgia based company designated as the official importer for India-built Mahindra diesel pickup trucks which have been expected for sale in the United States since 2009. The lawsuit is over Mahindra’s delays in readying the vehicles for sale on US soil.

Repeated delays, nonexistent advertising, delayed action on key milestones, and near total lack of communication from the USD $6 billion Indian conglomerate has created considerable tension between Mahindra and their US importer. Much of the stress has seemingly intensified in the past year.

Global Vehicles has reportedly spent almost USD $35 million dollars preparing for the launch after establishing well over 300 dealers across the country. Considering that each dealer had to fork over around USD $200,000 for the privilege of becoming a Mahindra franchise, then had to commit to building a Mahindra-specific facility at each location; it is easy to understand how Mahindra has built their US enterprise on a foundation of frustration.

The dedicated American fan-base who have been patiently waiting for Mahindra’s mid-size, 30-mpg diesel pickups, have been riding the relentless seas of anticipation and disappointment. The last rogue wave to rock the hardcore Mahindra fan boat was the announcement by Mahindra in May stating that US-bound Mahindra TR20 and TR40 pickups would not be available until December 2010.

Even’s own hack editor has personally felt the mighty Mahindra wingtip painfully displace his dangly bits in recent weeks.

Several scenarios may be construed at this point:
  • GV is feeling serious pressure (from their bankers and dealers) to do whatever they can to force Mahindra to deliver vehicles ASAP. A lawsuit could be a motivator.
  • Mahindra is purposely dragging their feet because they are truly not prepared to launch vehicles in the US for some reason.
  • Mahindra is dragging their feet because they want to get away from GV and establish their own in-house distribution of Mahindra vehicles in the US.
  • Mahindra is dragging their feet because they want to boot GV and go with another US-based importer.
  • Mahindra has gotten cold feet and are going to scrap their US plans altogether.


 Some things just aren’t adding up either:

  •  Mahindra has still not filed emissions certification paperwork with the EPA
  • Mahindra has still not completed the needed formal use requirements to register US trademarks for    “Mahindra TR20” and “Mahindra TR40”. Mahindra applied for the trademarks nearly a year and a half ago, but have not followed through with registration.
  • Mahindra has not made any effort to directly promote or advertise Mahindra vehicles in the United States, despite hiring two internationally known advertising agencies to do so.
  • Mahindra has allegedly built 175 US-spec, pre-production TR pickups in India, but apparently none have been sent here for evaluation or testing.

 Is it going to happen? Has Mahindra burned too many bridges before even delivering a product? If/when the trucks get here will Mahindra bust out some sweet Jedi mind tricks and get everyone forget about the current drama and delays?

We’ll let the reader ponder these points. While this all gets sorted out, Mahindra Planet will be driving around in our exclusive Mahindra TR40 Unicorn Edition pickup… and wearing a cup.



dick said...

"Global Vehicles has reportedly spent almost USD $35 million dollars preparing for the launch"

I'd love to see Global's books because I've heard this silly ass number before, and my trusty bullshit meter is smoking right about now.
Wonder how much of that 35 million went directly into Perez's pockets?

Or was I not supposed to mention that?
Oops!! Sorry, Johnny boy.

Anonymous said...

I shoulda had the cup on earlier...

Anonymous said...

Four words: I told you so.

(many times over; you never listened. called me someone who cannot understand other cultures and what not; hope you finally see the light)

Anonymous said...

It’s hard to hate a company that understands the benefits of diesel and is willing to take a risk (since the majority of people here refuse to understand that clean diesel technology has come miles from the ‘sooty 80s’). I hear their engine was co-developed by Bosch, a country that knows a thing or two about autos (VW, Audi, BMW anyone?). Point is, Mahindra is bringing us something new, to a market they’ve never entered (they’re already here with their tractors but that’s an entirely different business). I think people need to appreciate the context a little more to understand why delays in such situations happen. I think for an Indian company with high ambitions for the US market the last thing they’d want is a botched first entrance.

PSUMBA said...

I've been involved as a prime vendor in the launch of more than five car importer companies in the USA marketplace. How many vehicle importation companies have you launched?
When you look at the amount of time that Global Vehicles has been preparing for the launch ... and all of the travel involved in meeting with all of the vendors involved in the launch, you can burn through a lot of money in a hurry ... especially when you are told by your factory to prepare for multiple launch dates that never happen!
Sorry that you feel burned by the process. If Global's charges are true, you might want to re-direct much of your anger to Mahindra!
In my opinion, this is an epic miscalculation on the part of Mahindra. Car companies sign independent importers for their knowledge of the local market. Mahindra's apparent strategy is that they feel that they know more about the USA marketplace than the Americans. They also appear to feel that they can ignore the "rule of law" and breach contracts at will. The USA legal system is much stronger than that of India. This has "epic fail" written all over it for Mahindra!

dick said...

Let me guess which three... Yugo, Daewoo, and Peugeot?

How are you affiliated with Mahindra? Besides snuggling up to their asses.
And yeah, Captain Knowitall. I have gone over the numbers, every way possible as I'm a bit more familiar with the issues than you might believe, or better yet, understand.

Stop defending the indefensible.

PSUMBA said...

I've been a vendor to over 20 automotive companies over the past 25 years. My customers have included names you hear every day ... as well as those that you probably never heard. I am watching the launch of Mahindra with interest ... which is why I spend time in places like this with folks like you!
I'd like to know more about your familiarity with the costs of successfully launching a car company.
Soooo ... if you are so familiar with launching a car company ... what do you think that the cost is to do so?
... and please don't budget using the back room at your cousin Elmer's gas station as the parts warehouse ... or your smart nephew Bubba to come up with the service documentation & training program.
FWIW: For what it is worth, I was in Torrance, CA on 9/11/2001 ... talking about the startup of one of my customers' companies in Mexico. The last time I checked, none of the companies you mentioned have their headquarters there!

Dump Trucks said...

It is really sad for mahindra. But i am sure that mahindra will try again to improve quality and will invent some innovative step which will help them to lead in USA.

Cheap Used Cars said...

I think mahindra will try more harder and will surely be successful in USA. As mahindra is reputed brand it will not let things go so easily.