Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wither Mahindra, Goodbye MahindraPlanet

The End

I've been putting off writing a final post to kind of close out MahindraPlanet for a month now.  Obviously, Mahindra has decided to bail out on their often promised commitment to manufacturing and selling a compact diesel pickup truck for the United States.

I was writing a long overdue response back to Pee Wee from today and realized that what I was writing really summed up my personal thoughts on the Mahindra debacle.  So I am publishing the slightly edited version of that response:

Hi Pee Wee,
Interest in Mahindra and MahindraPlanet certainly has waned in the last several months.  Yes, I did read all about their announcement back when you posted it up on MTF.  Frankly, I was too disgusted to post anything at the time. 

I would say that in a nutshell, I have moved on as well.  My interest in MahindraPlanet is barely there anymore, and I am completely disappointed in how everything transpired.  My heart certainly isn't into maintaining the blog like it once was.  I have heard absolutely nothing from John Perez so I am assuming that he is pretty well devastated by the news.  Certainly those dealers are all going to recoup anything they can from him or Mahindra.  I feel for the dealers more than anyone else. 

I really need to put together a final post to kind of close the site down and finish four years of blogging about Mahindra.  I certainly owe that to the awesome people I have met over that time.  The whole story is pretty silly in retrospect and I hope that in some way Mahindra's epic failure to launch a highway vehicle in the US has at least put a slight ding in their humongous egos. 

That said, I bet Mahindra will try again.  But I bet that they will do it withSsangyong and they will do it all a lot differently.  Since I have no interest inSsangyong or even the unitized Mahindra XUV500 (and the fact that they totallyburned every single person they dealt with in the US), I don't see the point incontinuing to support them. 

Like many other people, I was probably more in love with the concept of abare-bones, heavy-duty but compact, diesel pickup.  Unfortunately it was only ever a concept and never a reality that Mahindra could actually deliver.

Take Care!Chris
With that said, MahindraPlanet will continue to live on the web as long as Google leaves it here.  I might or might not update it once in a while.  We shall see.

I do want to thank every single person who has supported the website over the years.  I even want to thank the haters and trolls who really added character to the comments and kept me in check.  I learned a hell of a lot about writing, blogging, and annoying the hell out of people.  All in all, I had an awesome time and I hope that many of you did too.

Anyway.  Take care, and see you somewhere else!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brief Mahindra Updates

We have new posts coming soon as we transition a  new website with a new name: (more on that later). For now, here are some recent articles which describe the current state of Mahindra vehicles in the US:

1: Mahindra & Mahindra's American Speed Bump - A great Forbes India article posted today which provides a detailed profile of John Perez, Anand Mahindra, and Pawan Goenka.

2: U.S. Car Dealers Claim Mahindra Rolled Them - A detailed article on the current litigation Mahindra faces from US dealers that have been boned by the failed Mahindra TR20/TR40 program.

3: Why Mahindra's Pick Up Truck Foray in the US Failed - Another great article from Forbes India which provides a tidy timeline and history of all that has transpired in the last eight years of Mahindra's US adventure. Thanks to Pee Wee from MahindraTruckForum for this one!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2014 Now Possible Date for New Mahindra Pickup

Edmunds is reporting that Mahindra is working on a completely revised Mahindra pickup which will possibly come to the US. Anyone else still holding their breath?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mahindra Wins Arbitration Against Global Vehicles

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd announced yesterday that a London arbitration panel has ruled in favor of the Indian conglomerate, and dismissed claims by US-based Global Vehicles that an exclusive US distribution agreement established in 2006 was violated.

Adding further insult to injury, a US class action lawsuit filed by dealers against Mahindra and Global Vehicles has also been dismissed.

These latest legal decisions now allow Mahindra to move forward with plans to enter the US market and utilize distribution and sales resources of their own choosing. What this means for dealers franchised by Global Vehicles remains to be seen.

On the positive side, Navistar may now finally be able to make an announcement on their new facility in Alabama.

There is much more to follow on this news story, so please continue to check back.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ssangyong Brand Could Represent Mahindra in USA

After enduring much abuse about our Mahindra/Navistar/Alabama story over a month ago, there has still been no official announcement on the actual purpose of the facility being leased by Navistar in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  As long time readers of this blog know, we are used to all kinds of abuse and have subsequently encased the Mahindra Planet cyber-office in a special alloy which is completely impervious to hate and utter disdain.

So the seldom loved and nearly universally loathed Mahindra Planet is at it again.  Well, we were at it last year when we ran a post about SsangYong Motor Co. chairman, Yoo Lee, stating that Ssangyong products will be sold in the US within the next five years, but possibly within the next two to three.  MP continues to stand behind the December post and our sources, despite Mahindra's public denial that they intend to produce a Mahindra pickup in Alabama.  Whether or not that pickup is actually a current Mahindra-branded product, or a Mahindra-owned product (like the Ssangyong Korando Sports) remains to be seen.

New Rumors of SsangYong Entering US
Two weeks ago ran a post in which they stated that they "have good reason to believe" that Mahindra will bring the SsangYong Korando Sports to the US instead of any other Mahindra owned product.

As MP stated in back in March of 2011, bringing the SsangYong pickup here could easily create a loophole which allows Mahindra to enter the US market with a compact diesel pickup, but avoid any previous commitment to former import and distribution partner, Global Vehicles USA or their established dealer network.
The Ssangyong brand name (or as’s Mike Levine surmises, a newly created brand name) could be used on any Mahindra or Ssangyong built vehicles imported to the United States. Creating a new brand dedicated to the US market could potentially circumnavigate the ongoing legal battle between GV and M&M. This could allow Mahindra to establish its own import and distribution enterprise, and bypass the current Mahindra dealer network set up by GV. The dealers and GV are legitimately concerned that they could be left in the dust. 
MP Still Believes Navistar Will Build Mahindra Pickups in Alabama
The Mahindra pickups built here could very well be any Mahindra product including Mahindra, SsangYong, or Reva branded vehicles.

Mahindra is extremely dedicated to the globalization of the Mahindra brand name and has established decent brand recognition in the US with their tractor and information technology divisions. On the flip side, the Mahindra small truck brand in the US has become a symbol of Mahindra’s inability to create a truly global automotive product and execute an enchanting business and marketing strategy in the United States. A new brand name may help bury these negative impressions.
Sources: AutoGuide: SsangYong Korando Sports Released, Headed to America?
MahindraPlanet: US to see SsangYong SUV's in 2-5 Years

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mahindra Reva Settles US Lawsuit: Reva Dead in New York, Alive in Alabama? reported yesterday that Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd settled it's lawsuit with US-based Bannon Automotive back in August of 2011.  As reported a little over a year ago, Bannon Automotive filed a lawsuit against Mahindra claiming that they reneged on an agreement to deliver knock-down kits of it's Mahindra Reva electric cars to Bannon for assembly in an Upstate New York assembly plant.  The lawsuit has been settled without comment from either party and conditions of the agreement are unknown.

Mahindra is claiming that they will not be building Mahindra pickup trucks in the United States in partnership with Navistar in Alabama as Mahindra Planet broke news last month.  Could it be that Mahindra plans to build Mahindra Reva electric cars there instead?  Or could Mahindra be planning to build both Mahindra and Mahindra Reva vehicles at the mysterious Alabama facility?  Stay tuned.