Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. will begin selling two small pickups in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010, according to WardsAuto.com. Similar to a new model launched in Australia in July as the Pik Up, the Indian-built trucks have not yet received American names, but the company has lined up over 300 U.S. dealers and told them to expect delivery in February.
Despite the small-pickup classification, the new truck has a substantial 2,633-lb. payload rating. It will be offered in 2- and 4-door versions, both powered by a 140-hp., 2.2L 4-cyl. diesel mated to a 6-spd. automatic transmission. Wards reports a projected combined city-highway fuel economy of 30 mpg, and says the truck will be offered in 2- and 4-wheel drive. U.S. prices have not yet been announced.
Tentative plans to build the trucks in Ohio have been shelved, according to Wards. Instead, they will be manufactured at Mahindra's Nasik, India, plant.
Mahindra is India's largest truck manufacturer. A joint venture withcurrently builds light commercial vehicles for the domestic Indian market, while a second /Mahindra joint venture is slated to open a plant building medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines for that market.