Mahindra isnâ€™t new to the Australian market but there wouldn't be very many Australians who would recall the name. The first visit was back in 1990 and the product was basically a rebadged Willys Jeep. The initial batch of 250 were difficult to shift despite very competitive pricing and Mahindra retreated to lick it wounds.
Now they are back with a new product which will be distributed by the family run Tynan Motors. Tynan Motors is listed as BRWâ€™s 74th Top 500 Family Company. They employ 270 staff at six locations which include multi-franchise dealerships representing Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Suzuki, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Hyundai, Subaru and Kiaâ€¦so itâ€™s fair to say that they know what they are doing. The big question is will Australians accept the Indian built Mahindra Pik-up one-tonner?
The Tynan family are taking the re-introduction of the Mahindra brand to Australia very seriously. In fact examples of the Pik-Up have been in Australia for a little while now. Product testing has been carried out by traditional customers of the AWD One-Tonne segment with Pik-ups being given to farmers and station owners for trial and assessment. The verdict after up to 12,000kms was a good one with no real issues becoming apparent, in fact the Pik-ups held up well.
"This time is very different. We have done our homework and, with our partners TMI, considered carefully the market we are going into. We are well aware that in selling our products outside India the perceptions people may have is about the quality. With that in mind we â€” and most other Indian companies â€” have concentrated on the quality of our product, both in the engineering and production." said Mahindra automotive sector president Dr Pawan Goenka
The Pik-up is based on Indiaâ€™s most popular SUV the Scorpio with major modifications being made to suit Australian conditions and the target buyer which include modification of the floor-pan to allow fitment of the tray and the use of leaf-sprung suspension, allowing increased load carrying capacity and ruggedness.
The Pik-up is available in four configurations, a RWD single-cab or double-cab and a 4WD single-cab or double-cab. There is only one engine option being a 2.5-litre common-rail turbo diesel with a modest output of 79Kw/247Nm and a claimed 9.9L/100km fuel consumption figure. A five-speed manual is the only gearbox option on release but expect to see an automatic option made available down the track.
Even the double-cab with a shorter tray offers a full one-tonne payload and towing capacity of 2.5-tonnes. The trays are double-walled to prevent loads from denting the Pik-ups sides.
The key to taking on Nissan and Toyota in this segment is toughness, reliability and convenience. If the Mahindra Pik-up is to be â€˜picked-upâ€™ by regional buyers and property/station owners it will need to offer the same convenience when it comes to spare parts access as these users currently experience with Toyota. Out in the bush, the Toyota Landcruiser is the â€˜new Holdenâ€™and spare parts are everywhere.
If the Mahindra Pik-up is as good as initial road tests seem to indicate then it is our belief that the success of this new entry to the tough Aussie market will come down to the ability of its distributor to provide fast and efficient service.
Mahindra Pik-Up details
BODY: five-seater dual cab; single cab, cab chassis, tray back and canopy
ENGINE: 2498cc, 4-cylinder, Bosch common-rail turbo diesel
BORE X STROKE: 94x90mm
POWER: 79kW @ 3800rpm
TORQUE: 247Nm @ 1800-2200rpm
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual; rear-wheel; limited-slip differential; four-wheel drive with Borg Warner electric shift, 1:2.48 low range, auto hub locks
SUSPENSION: independent, torsion bar with stabiliser bar and hydraulic shock absorbers (front), multi-layered semi-elliptic leaf spring (rear)
DIMENSIONS (MM): 5098 (L), 1770 (W), 1942 (dual cab height), 1860 (single cab height), 3040 (wheelbase), 210 (clearance)
EMISSIONS: Euro IV
STEERING: power-assisted rack and pinion, 12.6m turning circle
FUEL: diesel, 80-litre tank, 9.9 L/100km
UNLADEN WEIGHT (kg): 1990 (SC 2x4), 2050 (DC 2x4), 2090 (SC 4x4), 2150 (DC 4x4)
PRICING: SC 4x2 $23,990, DC 4x2 $25,990, SC 4x4 $26,990, DC 4x4 $29,990
Sources : GoAuto & CARSguide