Your Old Chrysler Dealership May Soon Sell Indian-Made Pickups

Posted: June 19, 2009

There are a lot of newly-empty car dealerships in America. By the end of the year 2010, Chrysler and General Motors plan to have eliminated more than 3,000 dealerships nationwide.

There are a number of foreign automakers trying to enter the U.S. market. Even in a recession, the American car market is the world's most lucrative, and a number of foreign automakers want in.

You see where this is going.

The Detroit Free Press reports, "Chrysler's decision to cut 25% of its dealerships is providing an opportunity for Indian car and truck manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra to enter the U.S. market quickly." A pair of Detroit-area dealerships, recently cut loose by Chrysler, are blazing the path. The two, along with a nearby Ford dealership, "expect to begin selling their first Mahindra compact pickups this fall."

Autoblog explains, "The Indian truck manufacturer is sweeping in to sign up recently booted Chrysler dealers to sell their fuel efficient diesel pickups. Mahindra is hoping to soon have 300 dealers online and ready to sell the inexpensive trucks," and hundreds of "experienced, ready-for-business Chrysler dealerships are like a gift placed in the lap" of the company.

The company will initially offer only a compact, diesel-powered pickup truck. But the Free Press notes, "Mahindra will offer a small SUV in fall 2010," with a price "of $13,000 to $15,000. The pickups will be imported from India for the first six months. Mahindra plans to assemble them through a contract manufacturing partner in the United States by mid-2010."

If you're intrigued by the idea, you can sign up now to be among the first to test drive a Mahindra truck. The company is signing up test drivers on its website now, planning to take the trucks on a cross-country tour. We'd advise caution, though - the site doesn't say when the tour begins or what stops are planned, and there is no option to opt out of receiving email from Mahindra when you sign up to drive...so if you choose to sign up, prepare to be spammed with news about the truck.

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