While the U.S. introduction of Mahindra-brand compact diesel pickups is stalled in arbitration court, the manufacturer's product plans appear to have changed.
Last year, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. of India declared it had parted ways with its independent U.S. distributor, Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc. of Atlanta. Global had more than 300 dealers standing by to retail the four-cylinder diesel pickups, along with a Mahindra SUV and crossover to follow, all imported from India.
Global has challenged Mahindra's departure from the distribution deal. The dispute is before courts in London, scheduled to get under way on Aug. 30.
But since the partnership derailed last year, Mahindra acquired a 70 percent stake in Korean SUV maker Ssangyong Motor Co. The two companies now indicate that Ssangyong could enter the U.S. market in the coming years.
This year, Ssangyong Chairman Yoo Lee told Automotive News that he envisioned entering the market in two to five years, and hoped to sell 20,000 vehicles a year here.
Global Vehicles CEO John Perez alleges that Mahindra now intends to set up its own dealer network in the United States to market Ssangyong SUVs and Mahindra pickups.
The U.S. sale of Mahindra pickups will not go forward until the legal challenge is resolved.