After knocking around the idea to bring a pickup truck to the United States, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra has decided against it. Mahindra had been working on a diesel pickup truck destined for U.S. shores, but that has been brought to a halt thanks to some legal disputes, and the inability to attain the necessary certification, the specifics of which were not specified.
While Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicle manufacturer, doesn’t sell passenger vehicles to the states, it does sell tractors. The truck it was working on for U.S. consumption was a variant of the popular Scorpio utility vehicle. Research and development of this truck dates back to 2006 and a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine supplied the power while a six-speed automatic transmission was responsible for rowing through the gears. Mahindra expected this combination to produce 30 mpg consistantly but the EPA only rated it with 19 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. In all, Mahindra spent around $100 million on the Americanized Scorpio and, as it stands now, it won’t see the light of day. However, Mahindra didn’t rule out putting the plans back into action if conditions concerning the U.S. market change.
In a statement released yesterday, Mahindra said it “recently decided not to proceed further with the project due to changes in the U.S. regulatory and market situation.” Mahindra also said that it “will continue to monitor the U.S. situation and remain flexible with its approach to this market.”
A dispute involving Mahindra and distributor Global Vehicles, the company tabbed to launch the Scorpio in the U.S., has also put a stop to the pickup’s release. However, an international arbitration committee ruled in favor of Mahindra, clearing that hurdle. There’s another issue though because American dealers have recently filed a lawsuit alleging that vehicle certification has been intentionally delayed but Mahindra has denied that claim.
Mahindra may still have a chance to enter a vehicle into the U.S. market as it’s actively looking to begin selling a passenger car in the states with help from its South Korean arm Ssangyong.
As always, stay tuned as more details become available.