Some time ago, an Indian industrial equipment company announced it was bringing a small pickup truck to market in the U.S. The Mahindra pickup has been delayed again and release is not certain.
Manufacturing agreement yet to emerge
For some time, there has been some anticipation for the release of a light pickup truck by Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian company that has specialized for some time in farming and commercial vehicles but has branched into consumer vehicles. The truck, according to AutoBlog, was rumored to get up to 30 miles per gallon in highway driving, powered by a four-cylinder clean diesel engine.
It was also rumored that Mahindra pickups would be built at a Navistar plant in Alabama, but Mahindra has dispelled those rumors, according to USA Today. It doesn’t appear likely that the truck will come to the United States at all.
Solid little truck
The truck, which is available in other countries, comes in two and four-door configurations, dubbed the T20 and T40, respectively. Two and four-wheel-drive are options, as are manual and automatic transmissions.
According to Mahindra’s Australian website, the 2.2-liter common-rail diesel engine produces 120 horsepower in the two-door model, though the truck is called the PikUp there. It comes with airbags, anti-lock brakes, and all the typical creature comforts like air conditioning and so forth. According to a 2010 review on PickupTrucks.com, sister website to Cars.com, it should have started at about $22,000.
According to AutoBlog, Mahindra claimed it could get up to 30 miles per gallon in the two-door, two-wheel-drive model. However, Environmental Protection Agency testing showed that the four-door, four-wheel-drive model was only capable of 19 miles per gallon city, 21 miles per gallon highway, which is comparable to the few trucks in the small truck segment. The only truck on the market that competes is the Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost V-6, which can get up to 23 mpg highway.
The Mahindra would have little competition, as one-third of the small and mid-size truck segment was phased out this year as Ford and Dodge discontinued the Ranger and Dakota. The only trucks remaining in the mid-size range are the Toyota Tacoma, the Nissan Frontier and the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado.
A four-door, four-wheel drive version, at 19/21 mpg, is rated for better fuel economy than all of the above trucks except the four-door, 4×4 Chevrolet Colorado in 1LT trim. It’s unknown if Mahindra will revamp its efforts in 2012. According to the New York Times, the EPA certification for 2011 is about to lapse, and the company will have to apply for a new certification. The company’s original distributor, Global Vehicles U.S.A., no longer exists.