The U.S. distributor for India's Mahindra light trucks says it will introduce U.S. consumers to its vehicles in September, before its fourth-quarter market launch.
Independent distributor Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc. plans a road show for the pickups, involving consumer test drives, showings at public events and invitations to visit Mahindra dealers.
The diesel pickup, about the size of a Dodge Dakota, is scheduled to go on sale late this year. Other models will arrive in 2010.
Global Vehicles, a small Atlanta-area company with exclusive U.S. distribution rights, has signed 326 dealers to sell Mahindra vehicles, according to Xavier Beguiristain, Global's vice president of marketing.
Beguiristain said 10 to 12 new Mahindra stores are in some stage of construction, and another 60 buildings are being refurbished to become Mahindra stores.
Last year the planned spring 2009 launch of the all-diesel Indian brand was delayed by six months when Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. decided to spend more time improving fit and finish and road-testing vehicles in North America.
The company hopes to sign another 125 franchisees and is meeting with dealers in New Orleans this week.