Ford filed lawsuit against former exec for joining Gulf States Toyota image

Ford Motor Co. on Nov. 10 has filed a lawsuit against a former executive whom the company alleges violated a non-compete agreement by taking a job with Gulf States Toyota earlier this month, autonews reports.

According to Ford, Collins cannot take the new job because of a non-compete agreement he signed.

Back in March the Blue Oval rehired Collins from Group 1 Automotive Inc., – a Fortune 500 company, founded in 1997 – one of the five largest automotive retailers in the United States with 143 dealerships in 14 states. At the Group 1 Automotive, Collins was a vice president of the western region.

According to the Detroit News – Collins agreed to a confidential information/non-compete agreement, while Ford paid an annual salary of $400,000 with a signing bonus of $900,000, in addition to a guaranteed bonus of $123,000 for the first year of work and a guaranteed stock award of $127,000 for the first year.

However, on Nov 1 Collins moved to Gulf States Toyota – the world’s second largest franchised distributor of Toyota vehicles. The 150 dealers in the five states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas account for 13% of Toyota sales in the United States.

According to Ford’s spokeswoman Karen Hampton the automaker is aiming to prevent Collins from working at Gulf States Toyota and Friedkin until May 2013.