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March 4, 2010

INDIA: Mahindra closer to US pickup launch

Mahindra & Mahindra hopes to announce the timing of its US pickup truck launch in 2-3 weeks, a board member said on Thursday.

Mahindra & Mahindra hopes to announce the timing of its US pickup truck launch in 2-3 weeks, a board member said on Thursday.

The launch, originally expected late last year or early 2010, has been delayed due to emission certification.

“The process is taking a bit longer than what we anticipated,” Pawan Goenka, president and member of the management board, told Reuters.

He said an application would be made to the Environment Protection Agency as soon as the vehicle completed the tests required, which should be known in about two to three weeks. The agency usually takes a month to process applications.

“Since our long-term aspiration is to be known as the premier SUV and pick-up manufacturer in the world, it is but natural that we must sell and be successful in the US,” he said. “Without that we cannot call ourselves a premier player in that segment.”

Mahindra’s pick-up will be competing with Ford Motor’s 2010 Ford Ranger and Toyota’s Tacoma models in the United States, the world’s largest market for SUVs and pick-ups, Reuters noted.

Pawan also said Mahindra would start selling the Xylo in Europe in 2010/11 and aimed to double sales in India and quadruple exports.

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