No, that’s not a typo – Mahindra & Mahindra, the Indian truck manufacturer famed for its Jeep replicas, is still on track to bring their “Pik-Up” stateside by the end of the year. You may remember it as the rather homely pickup formerly known as the “Appalachian,” whose moonshine-y sounding name must have been a casualty of the Hindi-to-English translation game. However, even the Pik-Up name might fall by the wayside as Mahindra’s American distribution partner, Global Vehicles USA of Atlanta, wants to use alphanumerics to designate North American trucks. In any event, why consider a Mahindra truck? A powerful and frugal 2.2L turbodiesel making 140 HP and 236 ft-lbs of torque will make it the only compact pickup in the US to offer a diesel, a fuel economy of more than 30 MPG on the freeway, and its mid-$20,000 price range should make it appeal to a wide variety of tradespeople.
Not familiar with Mahindra & Mahindra? Founded in 1945 to produce the famous WWII Jeep for American use in Asia, the company has exploded to become a huge conglomerate producing trucks and agricultural equipment. They also have recently partnered with Renault to build the low-cost Logan and with Ford to produce the Fiesta for local consumption. Their trucks have drawn praise from reviewers, but we’ll see how the US market reacts when M&M franchises start popping up.