As Ford Authority reported last week, Ford recently announced that it will cease manufacturing in India at the Ford Sanand Assembly Plant and Ford Chennai Assembly Plant, discontinuing the sale of the Ford Figo, Ford EcoSport, Ford Endeavor, and Ford Freestyle at the same time and replacing those vehicles with icons including the Ford Mustang coupe, as well as the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. Just yesterday, Ford Authority reported that workers at those plants have asked the government to safeguard their jobs, and now, Bloomberg is reporting that this decision could have a big impact on Ford dealers in India as well.
Ford dealers in India will reportedly face legal complications stemming from Ford’s decision to end its manufacturing operations in the country. Indian consumer law leaves dealers legally liable after a manufacturer leaves the country, which makes India’s dealerships vulnerable to lawsuits from customers. There are currently over 300 Ford dealerships in the country, employing around 40,000 people.
“We expect Ford to give some compensation to dealers and plan something in the future so that dealers aren’t in a legal strangle against customers in consumer court cases for their service responsibility,” said Vinkesh Gulati, president of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations.
Ford has said that it “will work closely with employees, unions, suppliers, dealers, government, and other stakeholders in Chennai and Sanand to develop a fair and balanced plan to mitigate the effects of the decision.” The automaker’s decision to end its manufacturing operations in India comes as Ford has racked up operating losses of more than $2 billion over the last decade, as well as a $0.8 billion in a non-operating write-down of assets in 2019.