Prospects of a cheap Indian-made compact pickup haven’t just faded-they’ve disappeared, and now the whole mess looks like it’s headed to court.
Lawyers for U.S. auto dealers said they’ve filed a lawsuit accusing Indian truck manufacturer Mahindra and its American counterpart of fraud, misrepresentation and conspiracy, the Associated Press reports. Some of the dealers in the suit are part of the Car Pro Show.
The lawyers said the suit was filed Monday in federal court in Atlanta against Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Mahindra USA on behalf of dealerships in New Hampshire, Florida, California, New Jersey and Washington. The lawsuit alleges Mahindra duped dealers and walked away with millions in cash and trade secrets.
“Mahindra told the dealers that its light trucks and SUVs were ready for delivery to the U.S. market,” Michael Diaz, a lawyer for the dealers, said in a statement to the AP. “However, Mahindra intentionally delayed certification of its vehicles after obtaining the dealership fees and trade secrets and began pursuing other partners in the U.S. and elsewhere in clear violation of their commitments.”
A statement on Mahindra’s website says the company cannot comment on the legal matter but goes on to say the company “unequivocally denies all allegations of fraud, misrepresentation and conspiracy.”