FCA complains against Mahindra over Roxor - Jeep similarity

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Utility vehicle specialist Mahindra & Mahindra has termed Fiat Chrysler's (FCA) allegations as baseless while also stating that is has the right to manufacture and sell the Roxor off-roader in the US. The Italian & American carmaker wants to ban the sales and imports of the Mahindra Roxor in 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 US, has been selling in other markets for quite some time.

Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA), the North American headquarters of the Mahindra Group, has dismissed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' complaint at the US International Trade Commission, seeking to prevent Mahindra & Mahindra from importing the Roxor, which is the company's big bet for the US market.

"They are a almost identical copy of the iconic Jeep design", Fiat Chrysler said in its complaint, which included photos comparing the Roxor to the Jeep. The compliant filed on August 1 at US International Trade Commission claims Roxor to have violated key elements of Jeep such as the boxy body structure with flat vertical sides and rear body ending with the same height as the bonnet. Mahindra has not yet been served with the complaint and we prefer not to comment at length on the dispute at this time. "In fact, the accused product was 'modeled after the original Willys Jeep'".

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Mahindra plans to invest about US$600 million (RM2.4 billion) in November for its Roxor manufacturing facility. According to The Detroit News, Mahindra responded to the complaint Friday, calling it without merit given past agreements between the company and FCA.

Mahindra actually holds a license to build CJ-inspired vehicles and still sells them in India as the Thar.

Mahindra and FCA share a long licensing relationship that goes back to the 1940s "with the original agreement with Willys and continues to this day", an excerpt in the complaint stated. The ROXOR has been in production in MI since March of this year, but it's not licensed for the road, instead aiming at side-by-side off-road all-terrain vehicles.

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

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