Mahindra and Mahindra may be largely unknown in the United States as a maker of cars and trucks. If you are a farmer, you know their tractors have been around these parts for some time. The company based in India is one of the largest manufacturers of trucks and SUV’s in that country however. If everything pans out we will be getting a version of their home market pick-ups here soon.
A compact to mid-sized truck, the Mahindra is about the size of a Ford Ranger or Nissan Frontier. The Mahindra however is more of a purpose built work truck than the latter two, featuring a full 7.5′ bed and a staggering 2600+ payload capacity. This is roughly twice what other trucks in its class offer here in the USA, but it is what’s under the hood that will really set the Mahinda apart.
A 2.2 liter common-rail four cylinder turbo diesel will power the Mahinda, backed up by a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is said to achieve a minimum of 30 mpg and will feature the latest clean-diesel emissions to make it fully 50-state legal. Global Vehicles, the importer for the new Mahindra trucks says the vehicles will go on sale toward the end of 2009 or early 2010 starting at around $22,000
Both a two-door long-bed and 4-door short bed truck is planned. SUV variants are also said to be in the works for the following years. While the company claims that the quality and engineering of the vehicles is on par with Land Rover, the styling definitely evokes images of third-world villages with chickens running the streets. The company does boast of a 4-year, 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty however and Mahindra is no “start-up” company.
For companies looking for a small inexpensive work-horse, the Mahindra will likely be an attractive option however. Like Ford’s new Transit Connect mini-cargo-van hitting the market this summer, there will be nothing else like it. What few compact or mid-sized trucks available in America today have all gone the way of loaded up, styled up, less practical caricatures of what once was basic hauling equipment.
In that light, the Mahindra may have its own little niche all to itself if in fact it comes to America as scheduled.
More information: www.mahindrana.com