In February, we formed the Mahindra Dealer Action Committee to help in the legal battle between Global Vehicles and Mahindra & Mahindra which has placed our (potential) Mahindra dealerships at risk.
Two Ward's Dealer Business columns misrepresented the facts. (Dealers Want Money Back, June, 2011, and Dealers Caught in Middle, August, 2010). We want to set the record straight.
Our “Open Letter to Mahindra” was simply an olive branch extended to Mahindra. Since a Mahindra representative lives in Atlanta, travel time was not an issue for him to attend the May 4 meeting we had in that city.
No suspicion or skepticism exists in the intent or purpose of this open letter. The content was clear.
The May 4 meeting was attended by 70 Mahindra dealers, representing dealerships from all corners of the U.S. The agenda covered several subjects, all of which centered on uniting the Mahindra dealer network and discussing various methods of protecting and saving our Mahindra franchises including, but not limited to, class action.
Participating in Global Vehicle's legal fund was only one of many subjects, and we as dealers realize that our future as a Mahindra dealer, rides heavily on Global Vehicles success in winning the upcoming arbitration.
Therefore supporting Global Vehicles legal expense is in every Mahindra dealer's best interest. MDAC members monitor and approve expenditures from this account and many dealers have and are still contributing.
This approach is certainly less costly than fighting this battle individually. Some may recall Porsche vs. dealers in the early 1980s. To the company's surprise, the dealers' legal muscle prevailed. This case has some similar characteristics to the Global Vehicles-Mahindra & Mahindra issue.
Relative to the author's questioning “dealers franchise sign-up fees,” Global Vehicles has been very open with the MDAC on the accountability of these referenced fees.
The record shows that all money collected by Global from the dealers either went directly to Mahindra to pay for vehicle development or was spent in developing all the systems to enable Global/Mahindra dealers to sell and service vehicles in the U.S.