First Indian vehicle in U.S.: A pickup coming this year


mahindra_truck_580The first vehicle produced in India for sale in the United States is due late this year.

The diesel-powered pickup is from Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., of Mumbai. The name of the pickup has not been released. Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc., of suburban Atlanta, is the truck’s independent distributor. Global Vehicles is setting up a network of about 330 U.S. dealers.

The specific sales date is undetermined. The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must issue approvals, which are expected in late summer or early fall.

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.

Separately, in May, Indian billionaire Ratan Tata announced that his no-frills Tata Nano sedan will be sold here in about two years. No further details were given. Tata is CEO of Tata Motors Ltd., a family business. The Nano sells in India for the equivalent of $2,500.

These are the Mahindra vehicles that will be sold in the United States for the 2010 through 2012 model years.

India’s Mahindra & Mahindra diesel pickup.

India’s Mahindra & Mahindra will enter the U.S. market this year with a diesel pickup.
(Credit: Automotive News)

Pickup: Mahindra’s U.S. model is based on the diesel pickup it sells in India. The model has been re-engineered for U.S. 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-liter, 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.

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