The dust-up between Indian automaker Mahindra and its jilted would-be American dealers is set to get a little nastier. According to Automotive News, several dealers have joined a lawsuit against their former partner that seeks both a refund for any fees paid to the truckmaker as well as punitive damages. One Jerry Ackerman is at the center of the suit. He paid $450,000 for three Mahindra franchises and now alleges that both Mahindra & Mahindra and Global Vehicles U.S.A. are in breach of contract. Ackerman's lawsuit is now seeking class action status.
Automotive News reports that the lawsuit could eventually represent as many as 350 dealers who signed up for franchises in the States. So far, around 45 dealers have shown interest in joining Ackerman's effort. Meanwhile, another 70 dealers recently met in Atlanta to discuss potential legal action against Mahindra. That lot has decided to file grievances against Mahindra with individual state motor vehicle agencies.
As you may recall, Mahindra originally contracted with Atlanta-based Global Vehicles U.S.A. to distribute its pickups in America, but later backed out of the deal. That left Global Vehicles U.S.A. and its dealers in a lurch. Global Vehicles U.S.A. initially filed suit against Mahindra but later dropped the effort.
The future prospects of Mahindra's diesel TR20 and TR40 pickups in North America remains uncertain.