The battle over when Mahindra pickups will go on sale in the U.S. bubbled over Thursday, with Mahindra execs saying a lawsuit against them might delay the trucks’ already late arrival, while the U.S. distributor declared that nonsense.
Pawan Goenka, the president of Mahindra's automotive business, told reporters in India that the introduction of its truck in the U.S. could be pushed back yet again because of Global Vehicles USA's pending lawsuit against Mahindra.
"We are going as per (our) original plan for the launch of the pickup truck in the U.S. [by December 2010], but can't say on the actual time of launch, as it will depend on the outcome of the litigation," Goenka said.
GV USA, the Atlanta-based company that holds the rights to sell Mahindra’s compact diesel pickups in the U.S., responds that if Mahindra can stick to its delivery and distribution comments, there shouldn't be any delays at all, for either emissions or legal reasons.
Mike Geylin, GV USA's spokesman, said Thursday in a written statement that "this claim is both inaccurate and unfortunate.”
According to documents filed in federal court, GV USA 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 from the federal government.
“Indeed, in the litigation Global Vehicles seeks to compel Mahindra to honor its contractual obligations ... and to begin shipping them pursuant to existing and long standing orders placed by Global Vehicles on behalf of its many dealers.,” the GV statement said. “Global Vehicles and its dealers stand ready, willing and able to immediately begin selling Mahindra vehicles in the United States.“