Contrary to a report in The Wall Street Journal, executives from Global Vehicles USA say the first imported pickups from Indian auto manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra will be available for sale in the U.S. later this year instead of postponed until 2010.
According to John Perez, CEO of GV USA, via spokesman Mike Geylin, "...there will be Mahindra pickup trucks on the ground, delivered to dealers in calendar year 2009. The number will not be large, but they will hit the showrooms. The major launch, which is still scheduled as a regional roll out, gets going in earnest during 2010."
The Wall Street Journal cited Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director of Mahindra, as having said the truck would not be launched in the U.S. until 2010.
There have been several previous miscommunications about the new pickup. The truck had originally been expected to start sales in the first quarter of 2009, before the launch was postponed until December. It was going to be called the Appalachian before that name was scrapped for an alphanumeric badge, likely TR20 or TR40. And a diesel hybrid version has been put on the backburner.
The Mahindra pickup will be offered in two cab configurations: a two-door regular cab and a four-door crew cab. The diesel-only truck will use a slightly modified version of Mahindra's "mHawk"' 2.2-liter inline four cylinder diesel engine. It's expected to have fuel economy ratings as high as 30 mpg and 1.3-ton hauling capability. Final U.S. pricing for the pickup is expected in September.