John Perez, CEO of Global Vehicles USA, said he expects Mahindra’s small diesel pickups to go on sale in the U.S. by spring 2011 in a letter emailed sent to thousands of interested buyers.
“I know you are wondering when you will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of these amazing, authentic, robust, fuel-efficient trucks at a Mahindra dealer near you,” Perez wrote. “While I cannot give you a firm answer on timing, I can tell you in my estimation, trucks will arrive in the spring of 2011.”
In a telephone interview with PickupTrucks.com, Perez clarified his statement.
“I’ve nothing to base [that date] on but my estimation,” Perez said. “Mahindra said the trucks would ready for sale by December 2010 but you don’t launch a vehicle in the U.S. in the winter. The best time to launch a vehicle in the U.S. is in September or October or March or April. That’s why spring would be perfect timing.”
Mahindra execs recently said they had "no date" for a U.S. introduction.
GV USA and Mahindra are in arbitration and in U.S. federal court over delays getting Mahindra's pickup trucks certified for sale in the U.S.
Mahindra says its exclusive distribution relationship with GV USA is void and GV USA says that Mahindra is taking unfair advantage of a federal testing escape clause in the distribution contract. In August, Mahindra announced that its diesel pickups met U.S. standards for emissions, but in September, Mahindra rejected a $35 million order from GV USA.
Perez said the clock is ticking. Mahindra’s certification from the EPA is only for the 2011 model year and will expire on December 31, 2011. There’s no firm timing as to when a decision will be reached in arbitration or handed down from federal court.
“Arbitration could be another year before they listen to our case,” Perez said. “And everything is in the [federal court’s] judge’s hands. We don’t know when that will be.”
GV USA and Mahindra aren’t the only ones facing a ticking clock. Consumers who had hoped to be driving a Mahindra pickup this year are running out of time and patience.
Several members at MahindraTruckForum.com, a website dedicated to the arrival of Mahindra’s trucks in the U.S., have posted they’ve given up hope of buying a Mahindra pickup.
“I am disappointed and broken hearted by this mythical ghost truck,” posted a commenter using the handle icidro.
“It's starting to sound like the bigfoot saga,” posted stove warrior.