Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fear and Loathing in Alpharetta

 
That deafening silence you hear is the sound of Mahindra and Global Vehicles making preparations for their upcoming arbitration in August.  The fate of some 350 franchised Mahindra dealers and the presence of Mahindra trucks in the US hang in the balance.  Maybe no news is good news, but then again, maybe some of the enthusiasm built up over the last 4 years has finally begun to fade.

Even a diehard Mahindrista has to admit that the chance of seeing Mahindra pickups on US roads in the near future is slim.  Publicly, Mahindra only speaks of their Ssangyong product line making it to America.  As time rolls on, more manufacturers appear to be closing in on the niche Mahindra intended to own just a few years ago.  Ford’s EcoBoost F-150, the global Chevy Colorado, Nissan’s development partnership with Cummins, a new compact Ram pickup, and continued talk of a Jeep pickup all begin to overlap the mid-size, high capacity, fuel-efficient, diesel pickup concept Mahindra has touted but failed to deliver.

Maybe Mahindra could change their angle of attack, and bring in a truly bare-bones, bargain-basement heavy duty pickup on the cheap.  There still may be an opportunity here for that.  Of course, they now have the additional task of repairing their reputation.  

Maybe Mahindra has served its intended purpose.  Mahindra has become a case study in how not to launch a vehicle in the US.  Lessons learned should enable them to make a better go at successfully launching Ssangyong here.  Has the wave has crested, retreated, or only begun to push ashore? We’ll find out in August...
“And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave ....
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark —that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Sources: MP, PickupTrucks.com, and Wikipedia as hyperlinked

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mahindra hasn't learned their lesson. They have a simplistic view of the automotive world. As it stands they have zero chance of success in the US.

GV was Mahindra's perfect match. Poor management, poor communication, and a zero batting average. Strike 3 you're out GV.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mahindra will get their old name again as its the oldest co. and very famous, recently there are many newely automotive co. had entered,with lot of good features, but mahindra will overcome it soon, by
Used pickup trucks, heavy duty trucks it has the chance to raise its back bones again

f047a5ea-bf7c-11e0-bea5-000bcdcb2996 said...

I just want to know, is there any realistic chance that the truck will be on sale, and if so when that might be. Can any one hazard a guess?

Anonymous said...

so . . . August is almost gone. I wasn't expecting any good news for the people hoping for small diesel pickups to come out of the arbitration in London, but nothing? I don't expect to see a Mahindra badged truck here for many years, and if one ever shows up it won't be what we hoped for- simple, rugged and affordable small diesel power. On the bright side, maybe the truck would have been no good and this is the best thing that could happen to those that would have bought one. Looks like we'll never know.