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Mahindra's Off-Road Roxor Is Only the First Part of its U.S. Strategy

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/14/2019 Motor Trend Staff
a blue truck driving down a dirt road: Mahindra Roxor 1© Motor Trend Staff Mahindra Roxor 1

After getting a look at the Mahindra Roxor at this year's Detroit auto show, we can officially confirm that the Jeep-like Indian off-roader is seriously cool. Yes, the Roxor's legal situation is a bit precarious, but it still looks like it would be an absolute blast to drive. And although the Roxor is currently the only Mahindra Automotive product you can buy in the U.S., that will likely change soon.

According to a recent Reuters report, launching the Roxor is only one part of Mahindra's plan. Eventually, the Indian automaker will introduce street-legal vehicles, but this time around, it hopes to avoid reliving the disaster that was its first attempt to sell a vehicle in the U.S.  That means first introducing Americans to a product that doesn't compete directly with road cars. The fact that there are fewer regulations on side-by-sides probably helps.

a truck parked next to a body of water© Motor Trend Staff

Mahindra also wants Americans to associate its name with rugged adventure vehicles, not inexpensive imports. "We're India tough," Rick Haas, head of Mahindra Automotive North America, told Reuters. "That's a value that resonates with a chunk of the population here."

But while Haas wouldn't say exactly which vehicle Mahindra plans to introduce next, he did confirm that one vehicle it's considering is the Marazzo minivan. That's not exactly a growing segment or one you'd associate with rugged durability, but it's also possible that it's one of the few vehicles Mahindra builds that can meet U.S. regulations.

a red truck driving down a dirt road© Motor Trend Staff

As for Mahindra's timeline for adding road vehicles to its U.S. lineup, Haas said that might depend on whether it can win a contract with the U.S. Postal Service. Currently, the USPS is on the hunt for new delivery vehicles, and Mahindra is one of five automakers under consideration for the $6 billion contract.

"That contract would make a fast [U.S.] entry easier, as you might imagine," Haas said. "If it doesn't happen, then we have to decide what we're doing here."

Source: Reuters

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