Global Vehicles said today (11 November) it would take "new steps to protect" more than 8,300 potential American jobs associated with the launch of Mahindra pick-up trucks in the US, including requesting Florida and Georgia States hold administrative hearings to determine whether Mahindra and its local employees are violating State motor vehicle franchise laws.

Both companies are locked in a bitter dispute that has seen increasingly strident language used in the US and India, following Mahindra's decision to reject an from Global Vehicles for pick-up trucks.

Mahindra has accused Global Vehicles of "PR theatrics" as the issue of whether the importer can proceed with a US$35m order for TR20 and TR40 pick-ups goes back and forth.

"We are ready to sell trucks, and that remains our goal," said Global Vehicles CEO John Perez.  

"By our calculation Mahindra's delays and disruptions are putting more than 8,300 potential jobs at risk at our dealers, at the ports, in the trucking industry and throughout the supply base."

According to Perez these figures count only the employment associated with the launch phase. The long-term jobs outlook is even greater says Global, as the company maintains the US economy is recovering.

"Global Vehicles' dealers are experienced, well capitalised and have access to more than US$1bn in credit facilities to support their facilities, order vehicles and deliver customer service," said Perez.  "We believe first-year sales could reach 30,000 units, worth US$750m.

Global Vehicles has asked the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles for hearings to determine whether Mahindra is violating state franchise laws by acting in bad faith with Global Vehicles and its dealers, who together have invested more than US$100m to bring Mahindra trucks to the US.

In a statement, Global Vehicles said it had also "invoked the arbitration clause in its contract with Mahindra and sued Mahindra in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, to protect its contractual rights." Both cases are pending said Global Vehicles.

Mahindra was not immediately available for comment but previously noted it had received and rejected Global Vehicles' order and referred to the US company as a "former distributor."

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