NEW YORK – Nascent importer Global Vehicles USA Inc. says it will begin distribution of pickup trucks built in India by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. late this year.

Four models will go on sale in Southeastern U.S. dealerships in late December, says Xavier Beguiristain, vice president-marketing for Global Vehicles.

Previously Global Vehicles said it would assemble vehicles in the U.S. from knocked-down kits supplied by Mahindra. But Beguiristain now says Global has decided to begin sales with fully built trucks, despite the fact they will be subject to higher (25%) duties.

“The duty will not affect the (suggested retail prices) of the pickups,” he says. But he declines to disclose prices and model names at this time.

There will be four basic versions available initially: two 2-door and two 4-door pickups, each available with either 2- or 4-wheel drive.

Beguiristain declines to reveal sales targets.

Global Vehicles, which is based in Alpharetta, GA, has signed up 329 U.S. dealers so far, but full distribution to all of those points won’t occur until next year.

Mahindra will ship its trucks to an East Coast port, but has not selected the exact location.

Eventually Global Vehicles will build a factory in the U.S. to assemble the trucks from kits. But Beguiristain says the importer is not yet ready to reveal the location of the plant.