Mahindra Pickup Trucks Hitting U.S. Shores This Year?

We knew Mahindra planned to bring their bargain-priced, stump-pulling, diesel-optioned Mahindra Appalachian to the US, but now things are getting serious. They've announced the pickup will hit shores as soon as this fall.

According to a company press release, Mahindra is laying down the groundwork for an American invasion by the fall of '09. They'll be making landfall with the slightly ugly but apparently capable Appalachian in two and four door trims along with optional four wheel drive wearing a price tag half that of trucks with its stated capabilities. Some bold claims for a first timer in the US market to say the least, we'll be impressed if the beds don't quickly rot to dust like early Toyota P'ups. Remember, Mahindra importer and CEO of Global Vehicles U.S.A. John Perez says "This is not Chinese junk." Well good, because we hate getting General Tso's chicken when we order curried shrimp.

Max Butler Named Vice President Marketing by Mahindra Distributor Global Vehicles
ALPHARETTA, Ga., March 2 /PRNewswire/ — Max Butler, an automotive-advertising veteran, today became the marketing vice president of Global Vehicles USA, the distributor for Indian auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra which is in the process of launching its first vehicles in the United States.

The 51-year-old brings more than 20 years of automotive-marketing experience, with an emphasis in the retail arena, which according to John Perez, Global Vehicles chief executive officer, was a key reason for Butler's appointment.

"It was crucial for us to have someone heading the marketing and advertising efforts for the launch of the new Mahindra products who really understands the ins and outs of this market," explained Perez. "Max knows how to translate the marketing programs developed by the manufacturer into advertising dealers can use to sell trucks and SUVs."

Beginning later this year, Global Vehicles will launch two- and four-door diesel-powered pickup trucks, in both two-wheel and four-wheel-drive versions. These are rugged vehicles, compact in size with the payload and towing capacity of larger pickups, with the fuel economy of a small automobile. About a year later, a diesel-powered SUV, with similar characteristics, will follow the pickup.

Butler joins Global Vehicles following 17 years of Saturn marketing for three advertising agencies in Atlanta, most recently Deutsch LA. His first Saturn position, in 1991, was with Publicis & Hal Riney, moving in 2002 to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners with the brand.

"Obviously he was successful with his Saturn work because they insisted he stay with the account even when they changed advertising agencies," said Perez. "We feel he can really energize our efforts at the most elemental level, helping dealers reach customers for our great trucks."

The challenge of building a brand in the competitive U.S. automotive market is not new for Butler whose first advertising position in 1988 was with HDM Advertising to build the Peugeot brand. A year later he joined SAAB Cars USA, Inc., in Orange, Conn., taking on even more such challenges.