FCA to block Mahindra Jeep copycat from entering US


The ROXOR is a descendant of earlier Jeep-style models that Mahindra has been making for decades, and one of the models that the automaker, which has been trying to gain a foothold in the USA, has been selling in other markets for quite some time.

The company has asked the US International Trade Commission to investigate into the Mahindra Roxor SUV that, according to FCA, has copied styling elements of the Willys Jeep that was used in the World War II.

Jeep, now owned by the Marchionne-built Fiat-Chrysler empire, has now entered the Indian vehicle market and the decades-old license has begun becoming a matter of contention. The US International Trade Commission will be hearing the complaint that claims that the Roxor will "harm FCA's goodwill and business".

"In fact, the accused product was modelled after the original Willys Jeep", FCA said in its complaint, that included photos comparing the two.

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The Fiat Chrysler group filed the complaint on August 1 at the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming that the Mahindra Roxor infringes key characteristics of Jeep's signature trade dress - namely the "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood".

Mahindra's relationship with Fiat Chrysler began in the 1940s with the original agreement with Willys and continues to this day, with the most recent agreement executed with FCA (then Chrysler Group LLC) in 2009, claims M&M.

"Our action, products, and product distribution (including Roxor) both honor the legacy of the relationship and the terms of our agreements with FCA".

Mahindra's association with Jeep goes back more than 50 years when the Indian entrepreneurs licensed the Jeep CJs to build and sell across India. The Italian & American carmaker wants to ban the sales and imports of the Mahindra Roxor in US.

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In the U.S., the Roxor is being be offered with no fewer than 900 paint colours and a host of other options like safari seats, rear seats, lift kits, hard-tops, winches and side enclosures.

Instead it has a Euro 6 2.5-litrre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, five-speed manual transmission and two-speed transfer case, plus a stainless steel body on a boxed-steel ladder frame with leaf springs at both ends.

Mahindra responded by saying that these accusations were baseless.

Earlier this year, Mahindra invested US$ 230 million in a new facility in Detroit.

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Mahindra Roxor was first announced in November 2017, and launched in an electronically speed limited avatar in the U.S. in March, 2018. The trucks can be found at off-road vehicle dealers with prices starting around $15,000.