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General Motors dealers to stage dharna at Jantar Mantar tomorrow

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-06-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Dealers of General Motors, which has decided to stop selling vehicles in India by the end of the year, will demonstrate at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to protest against the American automaker.

A majority of General Motors’ 96 dealers, which operate around 140 showrooms across India, are unhappy with the company’s offer of just around 12% of total investments they have made, as compensation. “Never before have automobile dealers resorted to a ‘dharna’ as a method of protest. But anguished by the decision of GM India to quit the domestic market without keeping their long standing dealers in the loop, we have been forced to do this,” Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) president John Paul Kuttukaran said. FADA, the apex body of automobile dealers in the country, has received permission from the authorities concerned to stage a peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar, he added.

“GM dealers and their employees would be sitting on dharna to draw attention of the ministries concerned to the plight of the dealers and loss of over 15,000 jobs,” Kuttukaran said. The dealers have already decided to explore the possibilities of filing class action suits against the American automaker in the US over inadequate compensation being offered to them. As per the conditions set by General Motors, a dealer who does not accept its offer by 15 July would only get 50% of the compensation amount being offered. In case a dealer does not accept the offer by 15 September, he would not get any compensation at all.

In 2015, the company had announced an investment of $1 billion in India to enhance manufacturing operations and roll out 10 locally-produced models over the next five years. In January this year, the American firm put on hold its investments on new models for India as it undertook a full review of its future product portfolio in the country. On 18 May, General Motors suddenly decided to stop selling its vehicles in India as there was no turnaround in its fortunes here after struggling for over two decades to make a mark. The company will now focus on exporting vehicles from its manufacturing plant at Talegaon in Maharashtra after it stopped production at its first plant at Halol, Gujarat last month.

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