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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Mahindra’s plans for South Africa: No Thar but Pik Up remains

Global Pik Up a likely certainty for South Africa, but not as a replacement for the current Scorpio derived Pik Up.


Known to have been in South Africa undergoing testing, Mahindra has officially confirmed that the second generation Thar won’t be sold locally due to demand in its home market.

Why no Thar?

Revealed three years ago, the licenced but also re-engineered take on the Jeep Wrangler, which has been made in India as part of an agreement with Stellantis and its respective predecessors since the 1940s, had been tipped for unveiling or even confirmation at Mahindra’s international reveal of the Global Pik-Up in Cape Town on Tuesday (15 August).

ALSO READ: More comfort focused all-new Mahindra Thar revealed

An event which saw the automaker also roll out a concept electric version called Thar:e based on a brand-new dedicated EV platform called Inglo, Mahindra Automotive Sector President, Veejay Nakra, said demand for the combustion engine Thar has been such that a waiting list of more than 12 months is currently being experienced in India.

Mahindra Thar not coming to South Africa
Thar an official licenced and revised version of the Jeep Wrangler. Image: Mahindra.

Responding to a question from the South African media after the Thar:e’s unveiling, Nakra said the decision had been taken not to export the Thar to, amongst other markets, South Africa for now as this would not only add further constraints but do an injustice to buyers in India waiting for their vehicles to be completed.

Thar:e

While previously speculated that Mahindra would’ve reveal a five-door Thar at the event that fell on Independence Day celebrations in India, the Thar:e took prominence underpinned by the mentioned platform that will eventually be expanded to Mahindra’s incoming range of new electric vehicles.

Concept Mahindra Thar:e revealed
Thar:e Concept made its official showing in Cape Town this past week.

Based on a unibody architecture rather than the body-on-frame employed by the combustion Thar, the eventual production model will feature electric motors sourced from Volkswagen and produce power from as little as 80 kW to 210 kW depending on the vehicle selected.

Concept Mahindra Thar:e revealed
Production of the Thar:e, according to Autocar India, is only expected to take place in 2026.

As a comparison, the “conventional” Thar makes use of three engines; the 2.0-litre turbocharged mStallion petrol developing 112kW/300Nm, the 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel from the XUV 300 retuned to produce 87kW/300Nm and the 2.0-litre mHawk turbodiesel rated at 97kW/300Nm.

Plans for South Africa

The Thar’s absence and discontinuation earlier this year of the tiny KUV 100 will leave the XUV 300 as Mahindra’s entry-level SUV below the XUV 700 and Scorpion-N.

Mahindra Global Pik Up revealed in South Africa
Mahindra Global Pik Up could come to South Africa once production kicks-off in 2024 or 2025.

Additionally, Mahindra South Africa CEO Rajesh Gupta told The Citizen the previous generation Scorpio, sold as the renamed Scorpio Classic in India, won’t be coming to market either as it doesn’t form part of its local SUV strategy comprising the mentioned XUV 300, XUV 700 and the Scorpion-N.

At the same time, Mahindra were coy when asked whether the Global Pik-Up, slated for production in 2024 or 2025, would be built in South Africa at the Durban plant that currently produces the Pik Up.

Mahindra Pik Up not being discontinued
Locally built Pik Up will continue in production even after the unveiling of the Global Pik Up. Image: Mahindra.

Confirming South Africa as Mahindra’s biggest market outside of India, Nakra reaffirmed that the Global Pik Up won’t replace the Pik Up directly, but slot in above it as part of an eventual three bakkie line-up headed by the workhorse-focused Bolero.

As such, the Pik Up will remain locally produced with no plans currently in place for the assembly of a second model in the foreseeable future.

NOW READ: Five-door Mahindra Thar global reveal happening in South Africa

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