For being such a small truck, Mahindra’s Indian-built compact diesel pickup continues to face big issues reaching these shores.
Global Vehicles USA, the Atlanta-based company that holds the rights to sell Mahindra’s pickups in the U.S., has filed a lawsuit against the Indian-based company in federal court over delays getting the Mahindra trucks certified for sale in the U.S., according to a report by GlobalAtlanta.com, a business news publication in Atlanta, and confirmed by PickupTrucks.com sources.
The suit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, alleges that while GV USA has signed up more than 350 dealers and spent almost $35 million preparing for the launch, Mahindra has dragged its feet getting final safety and emissions certification.
Delays have become the norm for Mahindra. Originally, the trucks were scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2009. That date has been pushed back several times, and now the automaker says the trucks are scheduled to go on sale in December.
On Tuesday, EPA spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn told PickupTrucks.com that Mahindra has yet to file its emissions certification paperwork with the EPA.
In April, John Perez, CEO of GV USA, expressed frustration with the Indian automaker. "It's a battle with Mahindra to get information from them," he said then. "It's not because they don't have the information. It's the culture. They don't like to make announcements."
According to our sources, it’s believed that Mahindra may be delaying certification in an effort to get around its current supply agreement with GV USA as its sole U.S. distributor.
According to reports, the lawsuit asks the U.S. court to require Mahindra to comply with its distributor agreement and certify the trucks as soon as possible. GV USA is seeking an injunction to stop Mahindra from approaching any other U.S. distributors while the two companies remain in arbitration.
GV USA spokesman Mike Geylin did not have any comment on the lawsuit other than to confirm its filing, and we were unable to reach Mahindra reps in the U.S. for comment Tuesday evening.
If they ever arrive, Mahindra TR20 and TR40 pickups reportedly will be offered in two cab configurations: a two-door regular cab and a four-door crew cab. Both 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. Pricing is expected to start around $22,000.