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Mahindra hopes to make inroads on American highways

December 2006
Mahindra hopes to make inroads on American highways

The headline in Automotive News couldn't have been shorter or more blunt. "Indian invasion," it barked. With the help of Global Vehicles, an Alpharetta-based distributor, Mahindra & Mahindra plans to become the first Indian automaker to enter the highly competitive U.S. market. Mahindra's most popular SUV, Scorpio, is being upgraded to meet American standards and preferences. If it is successful here, a diesel-electric hybrid SUV will follow. Mahindra is also working on a regular-cab pickup with a 2.6-liter turbo diesel engine for the American market. Global Vehicles, which is charging $125,000 for a franchise, is apparently targeting 200 dealers, of which it has already signed on 130. Though a small player in the auto industry, Mahindra has already made some headway; last year alone it sold a total of 127,521 vehicles. And now, in collaboration with Renault, it has ambitious plans to set up an Indian plant that will manufacture 500,000 vehicles every year. So how likely is it that the clogging of America's arterial highways will include Mahindra's SUVs and pickup trucks? Only time will.

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