"Timing stays the same," insisted Global Vehicles USA spokesman Mike Geylin, who said that the models are still set for a late spring on-sale date. Geylin confirmed to TheCarConnection.com that "EPA certification is in progress," but added that the application paperwork has not gone in because that's the last thing you do in the process. Global Vehicles has been reassured by the Mumbai-based automaker that it's all on time.
In December, the CEO of Global Vehicles said that the automaker had completed all testing and would be submitting its emissions-certification paperwork for approval by February. But as of late last month, the EPA had told PickupTrucks.com that Mahindra hasn’t yet applied.
And regarding crash-testing? Look to the parent company, says Mahindra's U.S. importer. "We cannot say anything specific about crash testing," said Geylin. "Mahindra & Mahindra is responsible for this, except, according to M&M, everything is moving in a positive way."
Mahindra has delayed the introduction of its TR-Series pickups in the U.S. several times already, to adapt the models for the U.S. market with a number of small changes, including a redesigned hood and front- and rear-end styling (which might or might not be safety related).
Update: Mahindra's U.S. launch delayed, but more vehicles already in the works
A turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, making 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, is still expected to be the only engine offered in U.S. models, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. With much more torque than four-cylinder 2010 Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma models, the Mahindra should have adequate grunt for most light hauling needs, though, while returning up to 30 mpg on the highway.
The Mahindra TR20 and TR40 won't have too much of a bargain-basement feel, at least when considering the features list, as air conditioning, power windows and locks, and USB and SD sound-system interfaces will all be available; four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and electronic stability control are expected to be standard.
Mahindra hasn't yet made any official announcements about its dealership network, but Geylin assures that it's "about 350 strong, with most points already filled." On the company's site, there's a national dealership-network map.
Beginning late this calendar year or early next year, Global Vehicles is also still planning to import an SUV that's closely related to the pickup models.
Will Mahindra, and Global Vehicles, come through? We sure hope so, as it would bring some much-needed rivalry to a long-neglected portion of the pickup market. Let us know what you think.