As posted earlier, Mahindra & Mahindra is stepping up plans to launch diesel-powered pick-up trucks in the US, even as global carmakers such as Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Ford have put similar pick-up launches in the US, on hold. Mahindra wants to cash in on the opportunity created by the disinterest of global majors, by competitively pricing its products in the American market, which is slowly limping back after getting mauled in the slowdown.

By December 2009, M&M plans to launch the diesel-powered two-door and four-door pick-up trucks. While there are no concrete plans to launch the hybrids, the Scorpio will be launched a year later. M&M is yet to decide on the pricing, production targets and advertising spends for the US market. Stringent emission norms is forcing M&M to reconfigure the vehicles it proposes to launch in the highly-competitive US market.

The auto major will initially start pick-up operations and those of SUVs through the completely-built-unit route followed by the completely-knocked-down route. The SUV will be based on the Scorpio platform, but will be completely redesigned for the US market and badged differently, said sources. The company intends to start local assembly operations when volumes start picking up.