Automotive major Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles (FCA) has filed a trade complaint against the Anand Mahindra-controlled
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) seeking to stop the latter from selling the
Roxor off-road vehicle in the US as the vehicle, it alleged, had copied designs
from its iconic Jeep.
According to various news
agencies, FCA filed the complaint on August 1, 2018 with the United States
International Trade Commission, claiming that the Mahindra Roxor had copied the
Jeep’s signature design which in essence meant “boxy body shape with
flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as
It was on March 3 this year
that Mahindra had introduced the Roxor in the US through Mahindra Automotive
North America (MANA). Unveiling the Roxor, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director,
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd had said “Mahindra’s 70-year automotive history has
been forged by making authentic, rugged, purpose-driven vehicles; Roxor is the
embodiment of this history and our brand.”
Roxor offers a simple, hard
worn approach, featuring a steel body on a boxed steel frame, a heavy-duty
Mahindra turbo-diesel 4 cylinder engine, and an automotive style 5-speed manual
transmission. Roxor was conceived, designed, engineered and is being produced
in Metro Detroit by MANA. MANA is part
of the Mahindra Group and recently opened a new NA Automotive headquarters and
manufacturing center in Auburn Hills, MI. Alleging a trademark infringement of the Jeep brand, Fiat
Chrysler wants the federal agency to stop Mahindra from building, selling or
importing the off-road vehicle into the US.
Incidentally, Jeep and
Mahindra had worked together almost seven decades ago when the latter started
assembling Jeeps at its Kandivali Plant in India under contract with Willy
Overland Export Corp.
According to The Detroit News,
Mahindra said in a statement Friday that the filing is without merit, and that
past agreements give it the right to build and sell the Roxor. "Mahindra
has a historic relationship and agreements with FCA and its predecessors that
go back 70 years," the company said. "The relationship 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.
"Our actions, products,
and product distribution (including
Roxor) both honor the legacy of the relationship and the terms of our
agreements with FCA."
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