Indian truckmaker Mahindra has told their independent U.S. distributor, Global Vehicles USA, that it needs an extra six months to get its US-bound discount diesel trucks ready. That bumps the retail launch back to the fourth quarter of next year, which isn't so bad considering that, of the 324 dealers that signed up to sell the trucks, most haven't even built a showroom yet. But why the extra wait? Well, apparently Mahindra decided it would be best to do some testing of the truck, you know, to see if it's actually any good or not. They're lining up a fleet of 25 trucks to drive 3.2 million miles around the US. We're pretty sure that's the collective mileage split between the 25 trucks — otherwise cheap Indian diesel pickup aficionados might be waiting around even longer. [Automotive News; Sub. Req.]
Mahindra could take the US by storm by doing what Toyota used to do: sell a decent truck that gets the job done at a reasonable price. You buy a Toyota now and what you get is a very nicely appointed two-seater with a really big trunk. If you want an actual truck, you have to step up a couple of notches or buy an F150.
When did Toyota stop offering the long bed? Seven honest feet and then some of carrying capacity, that was fabulous. Now I can have six or less, and that's far from fabulous. It's shocking just how much less stuff that extra foot means when it comes to trips to the house loaded with firewood. My one regret is not getting the long bed Xtra Cab during the 38 minutes it was available.
If Mahindra can screw together a truck with a real bed on it, a torquey, long-lived engine in front of it, and at least as much rust resistance as my cancerous old 4x2, they've got a good thing going, and maybe a sale to me in about ten years.
That, or they're next contestant in Who's the New Daihatsu?