Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Updated: GV Drops Lawsuit against Mahindra

Updated 24-Feb-2011: For the last few days the official North American Mahindra website operated by Global Vehicles USA, Inc. has been down.  When typing the url in your browser, an error is returned stating that the domain name does not exist.  Also note that the GV's corporate website, is now "under construction". 

Mahindra posted an official statement on the dismissal of GV’s lawsuit last week. It confirms that the “arbitral tribunal in London issued an Award confirming that the tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to resolve all disputes relating to Mahindra and Global Vehicles’ relationship, and it has directed Global Vehicles to stop all current litigation & not file any further litigation against Mahindra relating to the parties’ current dispute.”

Vehicle dealers and distributors are fairly well protected by US law from strong arm tactics or bullying by manufacturers under the Automobile Dealer’s Day in Court Act of 1956. By abandoning US litigation (at least for now), GV is kicking that blanket of protection off the bed. At this point, GV has consciously decided to commit all of their effort and confidence into the UK arbitration process.

Since a verdict isn’t expected until August of this year, expectant Mahindra fans have a long summer ahead to predict the results and debate what those results will mean for the way Mahindra vehicles will be distributed in the US. The good news is that this gives Mahindra time to perfect their products for an eventual US launch. The bad news is that established manufacturers appear to be on the brink of refreshing the small pickup market in the US.

As we have said many times before, the saga continues.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Revealed: The New Mahindra TR

Recent headlines have not given US Mahindra fans much encouragement lately: Mahindra’s Dismal EPA Fuel Economy, Global Vehicles Drops Lawsuit Against Mahindra, etc. Good ol’ MP is here to tell you it’s not all doom and gloom. Well, we don’t think so anyway…

We’ve alluded to this before on, but MP believes that the much rumored the next generation Scorpio/Getaway/TR20/TR40 is very close to launch. The key to this? The Mahindra Genio:

"We are very keen on exporting this.. when we conceptualized this product, we were also looking at in exporting also...we are confident that it will drive the growth in the pickup segment...," - Senior Vice-President Sales and Customer Care, Mahindra & Mahindra, Arun Malhotra (at the Genio launch on 28-Jan-2011)

Why do we believe that the Genio is the basis for an all new TR? The numbers don’t lie:

                         Mahindra Genio Single 4x2   Mahindra TR20 4x2
GVWR              6,460 lb                                   6,945 lb
Curb Weight     3,704 lb                                    4,180 lb
Payload             2,756 lb/1.38 ton                     2,785 lb/1.39 ton
Width                72.4 in                                      69.7 in
Length              207.6 in                                     206.0 in
Height               73.6 in                                       71.8 in

“From this year to the end of March 2012, there will be a slew of products launched across passenger and commercial vehicles segments. There will be about 8-10 substantial new products, including variants and refreshes, launched during the period.” – President Automotive and Farm Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, Pawan Goenka

The Genio (internally called U202) is built on the Mahindra Ingenio chassis launched in 2009 for the domestic market Xylo multi-purpose vehicle (basically what we would call a 7-passenger van, think Ford E-Series). The Ingenio chassis was designed to replace the current Scorpio chassis which sits underneath most of Mahindra’s light trucks built since 2002 (Scorpio, Bolero, and Thar). The obvious intent was to create a modern chassis with greater configuration flexibility which could carry a variety of powertrain options, wheelbases, and overall lengths.

A Genio-based next generation TR means that the US would get Mahindra’s latest and greatest chassis design. A chassis that was designed to carry diesel or diesel-hybrid powertrains (maybe even all-electric via Reva) and it was designed for 4WD or AWD drivetrains.

Replace the Genio’s utility bed with an integrated conventional pickup truck box and you have a new pickup with a distinctly more modern feel than the current TR (goodbye drip rails and 90’s Toyota rip-off styling). Is it pretty? Meh. Is it better styled than the TR? Maybe. But then the TR styling has grown on us over the last 3 years. It certainly is more modern and appears to be much higher quality inside and out.

Going back to our comparison of Genio versus TR20 specifications, the Genio weighs nearly 500 pounds less than the TR20 but still hauls a 1.3 ton payload. Combine that 500 pound diet with a more aerodynamic cab and suddenly 30 mpg becomes a more attainable reality once again. Could this be what John Perez is talking about?

Of course this is all Mahindra Planet’s famous speculation. But when things begin to add up, shards of reality begin to emerge. It could also just be wishful thinking…

Source: Economic Times,, as hyperlinked

Thursday, February 17, 2011

GV Drops Lawsuit Against Mahindra, Will Focus on Arbitration

Autoblog reports (via Automotive News) this morning that US Mahindra pickup distribution partner, Global Vehicles USA, Inc (GV) has withdrawn their US lawsuit against Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd over failure to provide TR20 and TR40 diesel-powered, compact pickups for US sales.

Apparently the lawsuit was dropped because the UK-based arbitration panel refused to rule on the case while an active lawsuit continues in the US. It remains to be seen how much more weight an arbitration ruling in favor of GV in the UK will carry over a win in US courts.

GV CEO, John Perez, is also claiming that the EPA data published last week does not reflect the 30 mpg figures that GV estimates the 2-wheel-drive TR20 pickups will achieve. It is unclear why the EPA only published data for the 4x4 TR40 pickup and not the supposed economy champ, 4x2 TR20. A 40% difference in fuel consumption between the two models seems like an incredible feat, but then it was GV who coordinated all of the US test vehicles and has first hand experience with Mahindra pickups on US roads.

Source: Autoblog

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Colorado/Canyon Replacement by 2014

GM will be bringing their global small pickup (GMi700) to the US in 2014 according to Sounds like the global version (built in Thailand) will launch this year, but by early 2014 US versions will be built on American soil.

It sounds like the new pickup will be about the same size as the current Colorado (which is only slightly larger than the S-10/Somona it replaced). However, it will remain body-on-frame and in typical global small pickup fashion, it will have a 1-ton payload capacity and feature diesel engine options (at least internationally).

So, combine that with news of a refreshed Tacoma (Hilux-based?) coming in 2013, and Nissan bringing back a Hardbody/D21-size pickup in the near future… we may have some pretty sweet small pickups heading back to the US. Mahindra still has a shot but they need to get their act together quickly.

Updated 24-Feb-2011: Autoblog reports that the Chevy Cruz will be getting a 147 horsepower, 235 lb-ft, 34 mpg diesel by 2013.  It's probably not a far stretch to imagine that engine used as an option in the upcoming Colorado/Canyon replacement.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Disappointing EPA Fuel Economy Data for Mahindra TR40 Released

Updated 07-FEB-2011 - Andy from has posted an official response from Global Vehicles on the EPA results: "Global Vehicles has seen the EPA results for the Mahindra TR40, 4WD, automatic pickup truck posted on their website, the results are different than expected but our expectations from promises made by Mahindra has always been 29 to 30 miles per gallon for a 2WD truck, and somewhat lower for a 4WD, we have sent a message to Mahindra for further explanation and will forward as soon as we receive the answer."

 The EPA has released its Estimated New EPA MPG fuel economy rating for the US model Mahindra TR40 pickup. The EPA rates the 2011 TR40 (4-door) pickup, 4-cylinder diesel, with 4-wheel-drive and automatic transmission at 19 mpg/city and 21 mpg/highway.

For comparison, a 2011 Toyota Tacoma, V-6 gasoline, with 4-wheel-drive and automatic transmission is rated at 16 mpg/city and 20 mpg/highway.

The data is of little consequence with the continued absence of the Indian made trucks on US soil. Whether or not this data had an affect on Mahindra’s dismissal of US distributor, Global Vehicles USA remains to be seen. However, it is possible that competitive analysis of fuel economy figures for other US market pickups was also a consideration. At this time, the Mahindra North America website maintained by Global Vehicles still claims a highway rating of 30 mpg.

Thanks to ArmyStrong on for the tip!