Indian vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is set to enter the US market with a diesel-powered pickup later this year, the first vehicle produced in India for sale in America.
The name of the pickup has not been released. Global Vehicles USA Inc., of suburban Atlanta, is the truck's independent distributor. Global Vehicles is setting up a network of about 330 US dealers, the auto publication Automotive News reported.
The specific sales date is undetermined. The Environment Protection Authority and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must issue approvals, which are expected in late summer or early autumn, it said.
Sales volume is expected to be small this year, with only selected markets receiving the pickup. The major rollout is scheduled for next year, with Global aiming for 50,000 pickup sales annually.
An SUV will debut in 18 months at the earliest. Other unnamed models are at least four years away, Automotive News said.
These are the Mahindra vehicles that will be sold in the US for the 2010 through 2012 model years, according to the publication:
Pickup: Mahindra's US model is based on the diesel pickup it sells in India. The model has been re-engineered for US regulations and consumer tastes. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as are antilock brakes, stability control, air conditioning, and power door locks.
The pickup will be offered with one engine: a 140-hp, 2.2-litre, common-rail, turbocharged, diesel four-cylinder that produces 236 pound-feet of torque.
The diesel system is designed by Bosch; the engine was developed by Mahindra. The base pickup has two doors, two-wheel drive, and a sticker price between $22,000 and $25,000.
The top-of-the-line four-door model with four-wheel drive and leather seats will be priced between $24,000 and $27,000. The pickup is a little larger than the Ford Ranger.
SUV: The SUV will be a US version of the Mahindra Scorpio. Timing for US sales is fluid; it will arrive either in late 2010 or sometime in 2011. A seven-passenger model with a third-row seat for children is under consideration.
The SUV is based on the pickup platform and will share the diesel engine.