The first vehicle from India will go on sale in the U.S. early next year, several months later than its original 2009 launch date. Mahindra & Mahindra will launch the yet-to-be named diesel powered pickup through distributor Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc with a 50,000 annual sales target. This sales goal seemed aggressive for a compact pickup with no brand recognition, so I did some analysis to find out how realistic it would be for the Mahindra pickup to reach 50,000 units annually.
The Mahindra pickup will enter the U.S. pickup market at a turbulent time. The entire pickup market has been contracting since 2004 and the compact pickup market, which the Mahindra pickup will likely complete in, is dominated by the Toyota Tacoma. When I looked at sales trends from Polk's new vehicle registration data, I found that the Toyota Tacoma had a 53% share in the compact pickup market for the first five months of 2009. And, no other compact pickup besides the Tacoma had sales above 45,000 in 2008. The market size, competition and the fact that the Mahindra pickup is the only diesel fueled pickup in the compact pickup segment makes the 50,000 sales target a stretch goal for an established brand, let alone a new brand unknown to many Americans.
Jan-May 2009 Market Share by Model in Compact Pickup Truck Segment
Polk just released a Polk View titled "Is the U.S. Auto Market Ready for Indian Vehicles?" The Polk View discusses topics relating to Mahindra & Mahindra entering the U.S. market including recommendations for initial launch markets, a market entry analysis on the Mahindra Scorpio SUV that will launch in late 2010 or 2011, and likely reception of both of these vehicles in different U.S. markets.
I invite you to read the Polk View and let me know your thoughts about how the Mahindra pickup will fare in the U.S.
Posted by Margaret Zewatsky, Global Market Analyst, Polk (08.13.2009)