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Yet another bump on the increasingly rough road for the Mahindra pickup has emerged,this time in the form of fuel economy figures published by the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the EPA, the four-wheel drive version of the TR40 with the automatic transmission and four-cylinder diesel; in four-door form, has been rated at just 19 miles per gallon in the city; 21 on the open road. By contrast the hoary old Ford Ranger, gets 14 mpg in the city, 18 on the highway, with it’s prosaic 4-liter V-6. It’s also rated at the same 5000 lb towing capacity as the TR40.
As you look at other pickups, the TR40s mileage is even less impressive – Ford’s full-size F-150 for example, equipped with the new 3.7-liter V-6; gets 16 mpg in the city, 23 on the highway.
The EPA findings come as another blow to the already well-publicized Mahindra/Global Vehicles fiasco. GV has stated for months, that the trucks would get around 30 mpg and fuel economy has been a major aspect of the US marketing campaign. Now with figures released that fail to measure up, the credibility of Global Vehicles is in doubt, and the truck’s chances for success are hampered.
Nevertheless, Global CEO John Perez said in a recent statement. “good fuel economy will be an important part of the truck’s appeal, and we’re eager to see the fuel economy for all of the models, especially the two-door, two-wheel-drive model, which Mahindra told us to expect would achieve close to 30 mpg.”
Perhaps he’s referring to Imperial miles per gallon instead of US measurements – even still, 21 mpg US results in 25 imperial miles per gallon and the Mahindra truck would have to get at least 25 mpg US on the highway to achieve the hallowed 30 mpg (Imperial); there’s also the factor of variables such as climate and different testing conditions to consider.
The MPG fiasco, is just another aspect of this whole thing which smacks of complete disorganization and chaos. For over two years, US buyers have been promised this truck and now with Mahindra and GV tied up in court battles and some 350 dealers having forked out the money for a franchise, so far with nothing in return, things are looking increasingly bleak.
The only potential benefit, is that with Ford; GM and Dodge pulling out of the small truck market, there’s potential room for a few new competitors; whether the TR40 will actually become one of those, still remains to be seen.
Beleaguered Indian truck manufacturer Mahindra has had their American launch delayed indefinitely, thanks to a series of legal battles between Mahindra and vehicle importer Global Vehicle Sales USA.
Global Vehicles argues that Mahindra wrongfully terminated the contract between the two companies. “The bottom line here is Mahindra now believes this is a huge project. They want us out of the way so they can go direct and save the money we were going to make,” Global Vehicles chief executive John Perez told the AP on Friday.
Mahindra’s managing director, Anand Mahindra said that the company has “no date” for entering the U.S.
[Source: Associated Press]
In the latest installment of the Mahindra/Global Vehicles Soap Opera, it appears that the first order for U.S. spec trucks, now called Pik-Ups has been placed, according to a statement released by GV.
Mahindra and Global have been battling each other in court, regarding a contract clause which stated that the former could wash its hands clean of the deal if the trucks didn’t meet U.S. EPA emissions certification. Now that they have, Mahindra still wants to rescind the contract between it and GV, but there’s evidence to suggest that the company’s argument won’t hold up in court, partly because Mahindra submitted its EPA paperwork a number of days after the June 11 deadline passed and also the fact that GV has already invested considerable effort and $100 million in setting up a distribution network for the trucks in the U.S. As a result of all this, it looks likely that Global Vehicles will retain exclusive rights to sell the trucks.
Said GV’s CEO John Perez “We trusted Mahindra when they said they wanted to cap their losses if the vehicle couldn’t be sold here. We patiently waited and accommodated Mahindra through years of delays and kept an extremely powerful distribution network intact while the factory worked through the complicated task of meeting U.S. emissions standards. We did this because we believed we were all working toward the same goals. Now Mahindra is trying to change the rules. We delivered our end of the contract, and we’re ready to get down to business.”
Although the GV/Mahindra saga is far from over, the announcement of a $35 million initial purchase order by GV, suggests that after a long period of virtual stalemate, things appear to be finally moving forward.
What’s next? Well, in the ongoing saga of Mahindra’s supposedly U.S. bound pickup, who knows? The latest is an apparent termination of the agreement between the Indian vehicle maker and Global Vehicles Inc., the company it had tasked with importing its HR series two and four-door pickups to the US. According to an official press release on Mahindra’s US website “the agreement dated 26th September 2006, between Mahindra and GV” has been “terminated.”
However, according to Global Vehicles, things remain very much “business as usual.” But due to repeated delays in introducing the vehicle, after GV spent some $35 million in setting up a U.S. distribution network , the Georgia based company has filed a lawsuit against Mahindra. It also says that the Indian manufacturer’s decision to terminate the agreement is “invalid under applicable laws of the United States and the State of Georgia, something which Mahindra continues to disregard.”
This comes hot on the heels of the trucks finally being granted EPA certification. Mahindra says that a Stateside launch is still on track for December 2010, but given how things have panned out so far, you can bet they’ll be a few more twist and turns in the coming months.
[Source: Motor Trend]