Out of In­dia

Big­ger and bet­ter things are com­ing from Mahin­dra’s new plant near Mum­bai

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels -

tip­per as well as an ag­i­ta­tor ver­sion. Work­ing Wheels checked out the fac­tory and was im­pressed by the con­struc­tion process and the fin­ished prod­uct.

The Chakan plant is also used to make other Mahin­dra ve­hi­cles such as the XUV 500 SUV and the Ge­nio ute.

Dur­ing the tour of the truck line, this writer spot­ted a fin­ished truck that was miss­ing most of the cab and asked our Mahin­dra guide what it was.

He men­tioned that it was a ‘‘ cowl’’ ver­sion and ex­plained that own­ers bought it and then fit­ted their own cabs on top. That seemed fair enough, but our guide went on to say that the pre­ferred cab was made from wood.

It turns out that the ini­tial Mahin­dra Nav­is­tarMNtrucks were sold only as reg­u­lar com­plete trucks to start with, but sales were slow. Cus­tomers wanted to build their own wooden cab­ins and Mahin­dra Nav­is­tar lis­tened.

As is the case with many other trucks, In­di­ans can buy a cowl ver­sion and then add their own cab­ins to top. We are not sure whether the wood cab­ins meet the in­ter­na­tional ECE R29 crash test stan­dard— this may de­pend on the type of wood be­ing used.

Mahin­dra Nav­is­tar also re­sponded to re­quests for a less pow­er­ful ver­sion, in­tro­duc­ing a fuel-ef­fi­cient 127kW (170hp) vari­ant. The joint ven­ture’s annual sales are near­ing 3500, which is well short of its tar­get of 50,000 trucks a year by 2016.

Coach work: In­dian cus­tomers can buy a cowl-only ver­sion and add a cus­tom tim­ber cabin

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