For decades, the suburban Detroit showroom was a popular place, but when Chrysler decided to slash its dealer count as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, Mt. Clemens Dodge was one of the first to go. No problem, however, as almost overnight, a new banner popped up in the sprawling retailer’s plate glass window.
In the coming months, the Mt. Clemens outlet will become the first in the Motor City to start selling the new Mahindra Pik-Up which, in turn, will mark the first time an Indian-made automobile will reach the U.S. market.
Eventually, Mahindra will add a sport-utility vehicle to its American line-up. (Click here for TheDetroitBureau.com’s review of both models.) And there’s a reasonable chance Mahindra eventually will be joined in the States by its chief home market rival, Tata Motors.
But plans have a way of changing, and with the U.S. mired in an economic downturn, and little likelihood that the car market will recover from its worst slump in half a century, foreign makers, in general, are rethinking their plans. For the Indians, in particular, analysts say, it’s leading them to make a more concerted push to build up their own market, on the subcontinent, with makers like Mahindra and Tata looking for guidance to what has happened in China.