Mahindra Jeep: Another American-Indian Deal in the Works?

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Mahindra CJ

Mahindra Classic

Mahindra Scorpio

Mahindra Scorpio

Mahindra\’s Scorpio pickup will be renamed the Appalachian when it enters the U.S. market next year. It is likely to be built in Ohio from kits to avoid high import tariffs. (Photo courtesy of Mahindra & Mahindra)

MUMBAI, India — Mahindra & Mahindra, India\’s leading manufacturer of sport-utility vehicles and pickups, reportedly is discussing the possible acquisition of the Jeep brand from Chrysler, even as it prepares to launch its vehicles in North America in mid-2009.

Rumors of the talks between Mahindra and Chrysler, former partners in India, were reported in the

Economic Times, one of India\’s major financial publications.

The family-owned Mahindra trading group got into the auto business during World War II as a contract assembler of the Willys Jeep, and later licensed production of the CJ series. Mahindra still builds a CJ-derived model called Commander in both soft-top and hardtop versions.

In recent months, Mahindra has been outbid by rival Indian automaker Tata for the right to acquire Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford. Mahindra also has withdrawn from a billion-dollar deal to assemble small cars in partnership with Renault-Nissan in Chennai. A Mahindra-Ford alliance in India was dissolved several years ago.

According to the

Economic Times, Mahindra and Chrysler now are discussing several options, including one scenario that would see Mahindra doing some contract engineering work in India for the U.S. automaker, as well as the possibility of the companies exchanging equity stakes.

At the recent Delhi auto show, Mahindra executives said the company is pursuing an aggressive product expansion program that will see the launch of several new platforms and vehicles over the next three years, including an entry-level SUV designed to seat five passengers and powered by a small turbodiesel engine. Later this year, it will unveil the all-new Ingenio SUV, which will be joined in 2009 by a pickup derivative.

In the meantime, Mahindra is gearing up to sell versions of its older Scorpio SUV and pickup next year in North America, through an independent distributor, Global Vehicles USA, based in Alpharetta, Georgia. The distributor has said it may assemble the pickup, which will be rebranded as the Mahindra Appalachian, in Ohio from knocked-down kits to avoid a 25 percent tariff imposed on imported trucks. The company also has said it plans to offer a diesel-hybrid powertrain in 2010.

What this means to you: An awful lot of questions remain unanswered about the viability of Indian vehicles in general and Mahindra in particular in the U.S. market. —

Paul Lienert, Correspondent

Posted by admin   @   13 February 2008 1 comments
Tags: 2009, 2010, allaboutauto, allaboutauto.us, Auto, auto show, c8, cars, Chrysler, Diesel, Engine, Ford, Hybrid, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep,

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1 Comments

Comments
Jul 22, 2010
10:11 am
#1 shoib :

mujhe ye jeeb chahiye hai

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