Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Seeks to Block Mahindra Jeep Look-Alike in US

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Files Complaint Against Mahindra for Infringement Jeep is trying to kill the Mahindra ROXOR, at least in the US
Laurie Berry | 06 August, 2018, 15:44

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has submitted a Federal Trade Commission complaint to block India's Mahindra and Mahindra from selling a Willys jeep-inspired off-road vehicle in the US.

However, the Mahindra Roxor might wear retro Jeep styling but it's a "side-by-side" off-roader that is not road-legal, limited to a 72km/h top speed and aimed at farmers and recreational users, priced from about $US15,000 - much less than the Willy's spiritual successor, the Jeep Wrangler. The Roxor features Jeep's signature "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood", said the company.

Mahindra, whose auto business began 70 years ago with a license to build Willys vehicles for Asia, has their presence in several industries in U.S., including information technology and mobility.

The complaint, which included photos comparing the Roxor to the Jeep, added: "They are a almost identical copy of the iconic Jeep design". After the Second World War, Mahindra through an agreement with Willys started producing utility vehicles based on the original Willys Jeep for the Indian market. "Our actions, products, and product distribution (including ROXOR) both honour the legacy of the relationship and the terms of our agreements with FCA", the automaker said.

Last week, Bloomberg had reported that FCA was looking to prevent the Roxor's sale in the U.S. on grounds that Mahindra has infringed the designs of its subsidiary, Jeep.

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MANA, or Mahindra Automotive North America, wants to make it very clear that the new ROXOR vehicle they are offering the North American market is for off-road use only.

Mahindra also claims that it has peacefully co-existed with the FCA group in multiple markets across the world including its home market of India. Based on the same steel frame construction as the Thar, the Roxor competes against Kawasaki Mule Pro and Polaris RZR ATV.

Mahindra responded by saying that these accusations were baseless. According to Automotive News, Mahindra intends to manufacture all of the components for them in India and ship them to the U.S.to be assembled as kits at the company's new factory in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

"The Roxor is a derivative of Mahindra vehicles distributed in those markets".

FCA filed the complaint against Mahindra on August 1, 2018.

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