Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra is looking to beat the Chinese to the US diesel truck market. Bloomberg has more:
Early next year, Mumbai-based Mahindra plans to start selling small 2- and 4-door pickups with a diesel engine that meets California’s strict exhaust rules. U.S. plans for Chinese brands such as Chery Automobile Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. have yet to materialize, five years into their announcements.
“Once you establish the brand, volumes will come,” Pawan Goenka, Mahindra’s president in charge of the automotive business, said in a June 16 interview. “There is a hole available to us which is not populated.”
Mahindra’s trucks will arrive in the U.S. even as recession and job losses have pushed auto sales to the lowest in three decades, triggering bankruptcy filings for General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. A weak economy and cheaper diesel prices may help the Indian automaker win buyers seeking a bargain, said industry analyst Eric Noble.
“It’s not a bad time to launch a durable, value-oriented brand,” said Noble, president of Car Lab, an Orange, California-based consulting firm for automakers. “There’s no real competition in compact trucks with a diesel powertrain.”
Global tables turn quickly, don’t they? Only 10 years ago, US companies were excited about penetrating emerging markets in India and China. Now, Indian and Chinese companies are upbeat about entering new markets in the US.
“One man’s crisis is another’s opportunity” rings true here.