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What The Truck? Introducing Mahindra!

From India, with diesel.  Introducing the new Mahindra truck.  Is this the real deal or is it just another light truck with a wimpy wimpy payload?

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From India, With Diesel

While we sort things out with our domestic auto manufacturers, an India based company is set to debut a very interesting new diesel truck to the United States.  India?  Yes, India.

This fall, Mahindra will launch their two-door TR20 and four-door TR40 truck in the US.  Assembly of the trucks has reportedly already begun at Mahindra’s Ohio plant.  Ohio?  Yes, Ohio.

In fact, Mahindra has been assembling product in the United States for well over a decade.  Mahindra manufactures tractors, loaders, and mowers at plants in Tornball, Texas, Redbluff, California, and Calhon, Georgia.  They also have over 300 dealerships in forty states.  Many of these established dealerships will be selling and servicing the new diesel trucks.

Mahindra’s roots in automotive manufacturing trace back to its franchise of Willy’s USA (Jeep) shortly after World War II.  With it’s Willy’s franchise, Mahindra started assembling Jeeps for India in 1949.

30 to 35 Miles Per Gallon

Why are the Mahindra trucks worth watching?  How about thirty to thirty-five miles per gallon?  How about a 2,522 pound payload capacity?   While that payload number won’t entice the larger hard-side camper crowd, the Mahindra trucks could be a real game changer for lighter hard-side and pop-up campers.

The rest of the reported specifications are also worth mentioning; 7.5 foot bed, six–speed automatic transmission, 2.2L four–cylinder 150hp common rail diesel engine with 300 lb ft of torque, shift on–the–fly four wheel drive, twenty gallon fuel tank, electronic stability control, four-wheel disc breaks with ABS, 119.7 inch wheel base, 8.3 inch ground clearance, and 245/75 R 16 tires.

Interior amenities include an AM/FM/CD player with MP3 playback and USB input, SD card slot, and iPod adaptor.  The trucks will also have dual-zone climate control, remote keyless entry, power windows and locks, and dual-stage driver and passenger airbags.

The price?  Starting at $22,000.  The warranty will be four-year, 60,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper.  And did we mention a hybrid diesel version of the Mahindras is promised for 2010?  Hybrid diesel?  Yes, hybrid diesel.

Would You Mahindra?

On one hand, thirty plus miles to the gallon from a clean-burning diesel is extremely interesting and could make truck campers very competitive in the RV marketplace.  Add in Mahindra’s tease about a diesel-hybrid version in 2010 and you’ve really got something to watch.  But the payload offered by the Mahinda trucks is relatively limited and they have yet to prove themselves in the United States.  Let’s just say the Mahindras have a steep mountain to climb with a camper before we’re sold.

What do you think?  Are the new Mahindra trucks a contender?  More specifically, would you be interested in a Mahindra if you were in the market for a light hard-side or pop-up camper?

Hello Ford?  Calling Chevy?  Dodge?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you’ve heard again and again about our domestic auto manufacturers being in trouble.  Chrysler is in bankruptry and General Motors isn’t doing much better.  Ford, on the other hand, looks to be doing alright, for now.

Unfortunately, Ford, Chevy, and Dodge have all put their plans for half-ton diesel trucks on hold.  In fact, Ford just announced the cancellation of their diesel F150 yesterday (May 4th).  We would love to see a competitive diesel product from Ford, Chevy, or Dodge come to market to take on the Mahindra.  For the time being, it appears the Mahinda trucks will arrive completely unopposed in the marketplace.  What a shame.

 

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