Thursday, April 28, 2011

M&M Open to Using Ssangyong Engines in Mahindra Vehicles

Ssangyong Rexton (courtesy
Pawan Goenka, President Automotive and Farm Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, has recently stated that Mahindra could possibly install more powerful engines in its vehicles from recently acquired Ssangyong Motor Company (SYMC).

Ssangyong produces its own engines using technology and designs licensed from Mercedes-Benz.  In fact, the Ssangyong Rexton CUV is effectively a Mercedes M-Class with a body styled by Italdesign and built in South Korea.

Mahindra plans to introduce the Ssangyong Rexton and Korando C models in India this year.  Their plan has been to import complete knock down kits (CKD) from South Korea and assemble complete vehicles in their Indian factory.  Recent changes to Indian import regulations concerning the definition of CKD kits, may force Mahindra to build Ssangyong engines on Indian soil in addition to assembling the complete vehicles.  
Korando C (courtesy
Goenka was recently asked by if the CKD definition change would force Mahindra to consider using Mahindra engines in Ssangyong vehicles for the India market.

“These products are of a higher horse power (bhp) category. Both Rexton and Korando C use a 175 bhp engine. We don't have an engine of that category. If these products using M&M engines, which is 120 bhp, they would be underpowered. So, it is very unlikely that we would consider a Mahindra engine for an SYMC product. However, the option of using SYMC engines in our products is certainly available to us. If we feel some SsangYong products need engines with lower horse power, M&M engines are easily available.” Pawan Goenka

Despite ongoing setbacks in Mahindra’s attempt to enter the US market with diesel pickups and SUVs, Mahindra’s consideration in using alternative or more powerful engines sourced from its complete corporate catalog could be an asset.  

The US government sees Mahindra pickups as an imported vehicle.  They are not going care if the engine in an Indian built vehicle comes from India or South Korea, as long as it meets safety and emissions criteria (they potentially face the Chicken Tax either way).  Using the more powerful (and possibly more readily EPA compliant) SYMC engines could be a benefit to US Mahindra pickups if/when they arrive here.

Source: BSMotoring

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

US Dealer Starts Class Action Against GV, Mahindra

Developing story: A dealer signed on as a Mahindra pickup and SUV franchise has filed a federal class action lawsuit against both US based distributor Global Vehicles, and Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd over failure to supply promised vehicles to prospective dealers.

From the complaint:

"Despite promising to import Mahindra vehicles for sale to the public through plaintiffs and members of the class, neither Global nor Mahindra ever imported any vehicles into the United States for distribution through its network of franchise dealers,"

The suit claims that GV and Mahindra have taken USD $60 million from dealers in franchise fees.

More to come on this breaking story...

Source: Courthouse News

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ssangyong KEV2 Concept Unveiled, 2013 Production Possible

Mahindra-owned, Ssangyong Motor Company, took the cover off its pure electric KEV2 CUV concept late last week at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show.

The KEV2 follows on the heels of a rumored pure-electric CUV based on the current production Korando C SUV.  Ssangyong confirms that the KEV2 is indeed based on the Korando platform. Some news outlets predict that Ssangyong could introduce a production version of the concept as early as 2013.

Ssangyong claims that the KEV2 has a 112 mile (180km) range and is capable of reaching 93 mph (150 km/h) with its 35kWh and 350V Lithium polymer battery (sourced from LG Chem Ltd) and 160hp (120kW) motor.  Standard full range recharge time is 8 hours with a minimum quick charge time of 30 minutes for limited range.

Ssangyong has stated that it plans to sell vehicles in the US within the next 2-5 years.  It is likely that Ssangyong sees the Korando C as a flagship model for the US market introduction of their brand.

Could we find the KEV2 sitting next to the Korando C on US showroom floors in a few years? The diesel and plug-in hybrid Korando C SUV, the diesel SUT1 pickup, and the pure-electric KEV2 CUV would be a solid North American lineup, and would allow Ssangyong to position itself as an environmentally conscious alternative brand from the get go.

Sources & Images: TechOn, Car Review, Car Body Design

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fools Day Revisited

2011 Ford Harley-Davidson Ranger via’s “Ford to Continue US Ranger Production Indefinitely” article from last year was an instant classic.  Well worth checking out a year later.  Funny and tragic at the same time… like a Robin Williams movie from the 80’s and 90’s.

Insert The World According to Garp/Mrs. Doubtfire/Patch Adams/Good Morning, Vietnam/etc. scenes here.