Mahindra says U.S. is a no-go
Just in case anyone was still hoping, Indian truckmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. made it clear last week that it no longer plans to come to America.
In a statement on its Web site, the Mumbai producer of SUVs, pickups and other vehicles said it has decided not to go ahead with its former plan.
"Since 2006, M&M Ltd. has been working on the development of a vehicle for the U.S. market," the Mahindra statement reads. "However, it recently decided not to proceed further with the project due to changes in the U.S. regulatory and market situation."
The statement adds: "M&M will continue to monitor the U.S. situation and remain flexible with its approach to this market."
The company offered no further details.
Plans to sell a Mahindra compact diesel pickup in America have been stalled since 2010, when the company announced that its U.S. distribution and marketing agreement with Global Vehicles U.S.A. of Atlanta had ended. Global Vehicles CEO John Perez and some of the dealers who had signed up to retail Mahindra vehicles reacted by attempting various legal moves to force Mahindra to begin delivering the pickups.
The dealers, some of whom had acquired land and built showrooms, continued to believe Mahindra would press ahead with its plan with or without Global Vehicles.
But the legal tactics failed, and last month a group of disgruntled franchisees filed a new lawsuit against Mahindra in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, alleging that the Indian company deceived them in saying it intended to enter the United States.
Mahindra's latest public statement has no bearing on that lawsuit. A spokesman for the dealers said that they are not suing to press Mahindra into delivering vehicles but to recoup damages caused by the failed project.
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