Despite a bitter ongoing dispute, Georgia-based auto distributor Global Vehicles USA said it will attempt to place a $35 million order on Friday with Indian truck maker Mahindra to launch its compact clean-diesel pickup trucks in the U.S.
GV USA and Mahindra are fighting in arbitration and in U.S. federal court over repeated delays getting Mahindra's pickup certified for sale in the U.S.
Over the past two months, Mahindra has issued two news releases stating that its relationship with GV USA has "expired" while Global Vehicles says Mahindra took unfair advantage of an escape clause in its contract to terminate its relationship with GV USA after the trucks received emissions certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mahindra released a new statement Wednesday on its corporate website that said it was GV USA that had let the escape clause in the distribution contract lapse.
If Mahindra accepts the order, GV USA said the first TR20 and TR40 pickups would be delivered to dealers in the Southeast, followed by other regions over the next eight months. First-year sales volume could reach 30,000 units.
GV USA also said the company and the approximately 350 Mahindra dealers it recruited in 49 states have invested almost $100 million to bring Mahindra's trucks to the U.S.
Mahindra TR-Series 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 that uses diesel exhaust fluid (urea) selective catalytic reduction to maintain emissions compliance. 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.
[Source: Global Vehicles USA]