In November 2020, a Ford dealer filed a court case against Ford India’s Managing Director Anurag Mehrotra and Director David Allan Schock for a fraud case. Now, the duo has been granted bail by the court for a period of 30 days and they had to pay Rs. 5 lakhs for it. The judge has asked the duo to join the investigation whenever necessary or whenever the investigation officer asks them to. They have also been told not to tamper with evidence or to influence the witnesses.
Judge Raj Rani said during the hearing, “In the event of (their) arrest, applicant(s) be released on interim bail for a period of 30 days on furnishing of bail bonds in a sum of ₹5 lakh”. The hearing was at Rohini Court. The name of the Ford dealer was Libra Cars located on GT Karnal Road.
The dealer filed a case against David Allan Schock and Arunag Mehrotra for cheating and criminal breach of trust grounds. The dealer said that Ford India had violated the agreement terms. According to him, the agreement said that the manufacturer would not appoint any other dealer within a radius of 10 km from Libra Cars.
Mehrotra was represented by advocate Vijay Aggarwal while Schock was represented by Rohit Kochhar. Aggarwal told the court that the allegations made by the dealer in FIR or First Information Report were purely civil and the case was filed after 18 months. He also said that the dealership was already terminated in March 2019.
Kochhar and Aggarwal also said that Ford India has nothing to do with alleged offences as it is not the company that cheated Libra Cars, rather the dealer himself cheated the public at large as he did not follow the terms and conditions that were listed in the agreement of the dealership.
The order states “IO submitted that accused David Allan Schock, who is a resident of USA, has joined the investigation through video conferencing and Anurag Mehrotra has also joined the investigation. IO has also not stated that the specimen signature of applicant is required,”
Ford’s future is tough in India
As we know the joint venture between Mahindra and Ford came to an end last year. The American manufacturer has worked in India for the last 25 years. However, now they are facing issues as they do not have any new vehicles lined up for launch. All of their vehicles have started to show their age when compared to the competitors.
Ford and Mahindra had a plan to launch three new SUVs. There would have been a compact SUV, a mid-size SUV and a C-SUV. The design duty was already given to Pininfarina, which is owned by Mahindra. Ford had also signed up a deal to put the 1.2-litre mStallion petrol engine of Mahindra in the Ecosport. However, Ford had no contingency plan in case things went south and that is what happened.
There has also been a significant drop in their export volumes. Their production has dropped to just 80,000 units whereas the production capacity of their plants is 4 lakh units. This is the reason they are desperate to find a partner who can share the plant.