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Ford Motor Company NZ has been knocked back in a bid to pull out of a sponsorship deal with V8 Supercar outfit, Team Kiwi Racing.
The three-year deal, involving livery, sponsorship money, loan cars and vehicles at a nominal cost, was due to end in January 2010.
But last month Ford said it was terminating the agreement, citing what it said was an insolvency event, in breach of their contract.
TKR had been served with a statutory demand for $31,500 by Caleta Street Race Management, the organisers of the Hamilton street race in July, and liquidation proceedings had been started.
Ford went to the High Court in Hamilton two weeks ago-- two days before the major Bathurst Supercar event—seeking interim relief to bring the agreement completely to an end.
It wanted to restrain TKR from using Ford livery, or indeed to be in any way associated with it, and sought the return of its vehicles.
If granted, the injunction would have prevented TKR racing under Ford colours.
TKR countered that the statutory demand and liquidation proceedings should never have been started.
A compromise had been arranged with Caleta, but Caleta’s solicitors had not been notified and started liquidation proceedings in error.
Ford also claimed that loan vehicles had been misused and cars supplied at minimal cost for display purposes had been sold for road use.
TKR said that it had complied with the terms of the agreement in relation to the loan cars, and the display cars had been made roadworthy before being sold.
Ford said such activities indicated a company in crisis.
Justice Patrick Keane said the question was whether there was an insolvency issue on which Ford was entitled to terminate.
He said that the liquidation proceedings had been withdrawn.
On the evidence, he said, Ford could not assert the breach of contract on which it relied.
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