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Mahindra sees stars for new Pik-Up

Crash worthy: Mahindra says it has added safety features to its facelift Pik-Up to lift its crash safety rating to four stars.

Revamped Indian ute a four-star crash performer, says Mahindra

23 Jul 2009

MAHINDRA Automotive Australia has unveiled a facelifted Pik-Up ute that the company believes will achieve a four-star crash safety rating – up from the previous model’s two stars – to equal the scores of the two safest utes in the class, the Mitsubishi Triton (4x4) and Toyota HiLux (4x2 and 4x4).

While the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is yet to test the new Pik-Up, Mahindra says that after its own testing at Autoliv locally and at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) facility in the UK, it is confident it will achieve four stars.

Mahindra said its engineers studied ANCAP test results for the first Pik-Up before adding dual front airbags and front seat belt pretensioners. ABS brakes are also standard equipment.

The interior now has audio controls on the tilt-adjustable steering wheel, updated interior fabrics, ergonomically designed seats, longer seatbelts and a two-DIN audio system.

The exterior changes include a new bonnet with air scoop, plus new grille, headlights, bumper bar with standard fog lights, power rear vision mirrors in body colour/black and new exterior door handles.

Inside, there’s a re-designed handbrake lever and gear knob.

46 center imageThe 2.5-litre common-rail turbo diesel engine producing 79kW of power at 3800rpm and 247Nm of torque at 1800-2200 rpm continues unchanged, as does the five-speed manual transmission and part-time dual-range 4WD system in 4x4 models.

The new standard safety features puts Mahindra in a better position than the new Chinese entrant to the ute market, Great Wall Motors, with its petrol-only SA220 – but it comes at a price.

The SA220 might not have ABS brakes or airbags (even as an option), but its starting price – $19,990 on-road for the dual-cab SA220 – is $2000 cheaper than the drive-away price of the entry-level single-cab-chassis Mahindra Pik-Up and $7209 cheaper than the most logical Mahindra Pik-Up rival, the 4x2 Double Cab.

At top-spec level, the GWM V240 has ABS brakes and dual front airbags as standard, and at $26,990 is $3000 cheaper than the drive-away price for the Pik-Up 4x4 Double Cab.

CEO of Mahindra Automotive Australia (MAA), Claire Tynan, said she did not believe it was beneficial for the nascent MAA to report registration numbers to VFACTS, the industry’s sales volume record keeper, but would look at doing so next year.

Ms Tynan admits that Pik-Up sales have not quite met expectations set out by Mahindra & Mahindra Automotive Sector president Dr Pawan Goenka at the Pik-Up’s Australian launch two years ago.

Dr Goenka said Mahindra had set a “modest target” of 1000 units in the first year and 2000 in the second year of sales.

“In regards to the 1000 in the first year, we didn’t make it,” Ms Tynan said. “I think we all knew that when the global financial crisis hit last October, but then we recovered again with the government incentives, so that worked really well for us as well.

“We’re probably 10 to 15 per cent down on our expectations [of 3000 units in the first two years].”

Mahindra now has 20 dealers nationwide representing all states and territories except Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. Four WA dealers are about to take on the brand.

The Pik-Up continues with a three-year/100,000km warranty. Roadside assistance has been extended from 12 months to three years.

A new exterior colour, Toreador Red, has been added to the colour range.

2009 Mahindra Pik-Up utility range pricing:
Single-cab chassis $18,999
Single-cab $20,499
Double-cab chassis $23,299
Double-cab $24,199
Single-cab chassis $24,199
Single-cab $25,599
Double-cab chassis $25,999
Double-cab $26,999

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