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