CHENNAI/NEW DELHI/DETROIT — Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra has reduce more than fifty percent of the workforce at its North American device, two resources acquainted with the matter explained to Reuters, because of to the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing legal tussle.

The resources did not give a determine for the variety of employment dropped at the business, which experienced above 500 employees in early 2020, according to its web page.

However, a single of the resources said “hundreds of workers” experienced been laid off considering that mid-2020 as element of a restructuring, and that the cuts ended up as higher as two-thirds of Mahindra Automotive North America’s (MANA) full staffing.

Positions include things like engineers and producing employment at its plant in Detroit that creates the off-street motor vehicle Roxor, as nicely as gross sales executives.

The cuts occur as Mahindra evaluations its firms in a generate to conserve cash and retain only individuals that make money or have the probable to be successful.

MANA said in a statement it experienced furloughed some team and laid off many others because of to the pandemic and an Intercontinental Trade Fee lawsuit which led to an August “stop and desist” order for the Roxor business. It did not give figures.

Mahindra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are in a protracted legal battle above an mental assets infringement scenario which has prevented the Indian automaker from offering its Roxor motor vehicle in the United States.

“This compelled us to halt creation and furlough our producing workforce and some additional persons across quite a few functions, including the Roxor gross sales workforce,” the company said.

However, very last month, the company won a favorable ruling in its lawsuit versus FCA, paving the way for it to commence offering the Roxor once again.

It now expects to recall a large group of employees, it said in the statement.

As element of its overview which started very last 12 months, Mahindra has pulled the plug on its U.S. electric powered scooter business GenZe it is in talks to market its stake in South Korean automaker Ssangyong and it has identified as off a joint undertaking with Ford.

Mahindra’s shares have surged above 60% considering that it introduced the overview in June very last 12 months, valuing the company at above $12.six billion.

The automaker designs to concentrate on producing large activity-utility automobiles and electric powered designs for its main India market place, where it has dropped ground to opponents these kinds of as Tata and Kia.

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