Exclusive: Indian carmaker Mahindra cuts over half of North America’s workforce – sources

    CHENNAI / NEW DELHI / DETROIT (Reuters) – Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has cut more than half the workforce in its North American unit, two sources familiar with the matter, due to the COVID pandemic, told Reuters. -19 and an ongoing lawsuit brawl.

    The sources did not provide a figure for the number of jobs lost at the company, which had over 500 employees in early 2020, according to its website.

    However, one of the sources said that “hundreds of workers” have been laid off since mid-2020 as part of a restructuring and that the cuts amounted to two-thirds of Mahindra Automotive North America’s (MANA) total staff.

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    Positions include engineering and manufacturing jobs at its Detroit plant that manufactures the Roxor off-roader, as well as sales executives.

    The cuts come as Mahindra reviews its businesses with the goal of conserving capital and retaining only those who make money or have the potential to be profitable.

    MANA said in a statement that it had fired some staff and fired others due to the pandemic and an International Trade Commission lawsuit that led to a “cease and desist” order in August for the business. Roxor. He did not provide figures.

    Mahindra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are engaged in a lengthy legal battle over an intellectual property infringement case that prevented the Indian automaker from selling his Roxor vehicle in the United States.

    “This forced us to stop production and lay off our production team and some additional people in various functions, including the Roxor sales team,” the company said.

    However, last month, the company won a favorable ruling in its lawsuit against FCA, paving the way for it to start selling Roxor again.

    It now plans to recall a large group of employees, the statement read.

    As part of its overhaul that began last year, Mahindra pulled the plug on its US GenZe electric scooter business; is in talks to sell its stake in South Korean carmaker Ssangyong Motor; and canceled a joint venture with Ford Motor Co.

    Shares of Mahindra have risen more than 60% since it announced the review in June last year, valuing the company at over $ 12.6 billion.

    The automaker plans to focus on producing large SUVs and electric models for its core market in India, where it has lost ground to competitors such as Tata Motors and Kia Motors.

    Reportage by Sudarshan Varadhan in Chennai, Aditi Shah in New Delhi and Ben Klayman in Detroit. Editing by Mark Potter

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