It has taken awhile, but the final, smallest hope for an inexpensive turbo-diesel pickup truck imported from India was recently laid to rest. A British arbitration panel has ruled in favor of Mahindra & Mahindra and against Global Vehicles USA.
In our last report in December, it didn't look for good Global Vehicles, which wanted to be the U.S. distributor of Mahindra's T20/T40 compact trucks. But there was an outside chance for some kind of vindication for the company.
The arbitration panel unanimously concluded that the existing contract between Global Vehicles and Mahindra had expired and that Mahindra had not violated the terms of the contract or violated any U.S. laws, according to a recent story filed by Lindsay Chappell of Automotive News and according to a statement by Mahindra filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange.
In 2006, India-based Mahindra and Global Vehicles made a huge public announcement about their desire to introduce a small four-cylinder clean-diesel pickup, but they ran into many delays because of the numerous design changes the vehicle would need to meet safety regulations.
In 2010, just before the new importer was to get approval for U.S. roads by the EPA, Mahindra announced that its contract with Global Vehicles had ended. Mahindra said Global Vehicles had allowed the contract to end, while Global Vehicles said Mahindra had ended the agreement. Global Vehicles sought arbitration in London in accordance with their agreement.
Global Vehicles originally signed up as many as 350 dealers to participate in the program, but after the relationship with Mahindra broke down, some franchised Mahindra dealers have been supporting Global Vehicles over the past year and formed a dealer action committee to raise money for its legal fight.
For anyone who held out a small hope for an inexpensive little pickup truck anytime soon, we'll have to wait a little longer.