Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

FCA to block Mahindra Jeep copycat from entering US

FCA to block Mahindra Jeep copycat from entering US

Mahindra claims that FCA's case to ban the Roxor's import into the USA is without any merit as the SUV has been derived from Mahindra vehicles sold in markets, where FCA's own automobiles are sold.

But it seems all bets are now off for Fiat Chrysler, which drew the USA trade commission's attention to Mahindra's "substantial foreign manufacturing capacity combined with its demonstrated intention to penetrate the United States market and harm FCA's goodwill and business". FCA filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission that could prevent Mahindra's vehicle from entering the market. FCA filed a trade complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission, arguing that the Mahindra ROXOR infringes on Jeep's "trade dress", which is a legal term to describe the trademarked appearance or image of a particular product. "In fact, the accused product was 'modeled after the original Willys Jeep'". Mahindra has not yet been served with the complaint and we prefer not to comment at length on the dispute at this time.

Mahindra imports the off-roader into the U.S. via CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route and then assemble it at its plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

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.

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Conversely, Mahindra said FCA's complaint is without merit.

"The relationship [between the two companies] 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", a statement from the company read. "Roxor was conceived, designed, engineered and is being produced in Metro Detroit by Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA)", Mahindra had said at the time of launch.

Powering the Mahindra Roxor is an M2DICR 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine that makes 62 PS at 3,200rpm and generates 195 Nm at 1,400 to 2,200rpm. The company recently opened a manufacturing center in MI where the Roxor is assembled as an off-highway side-by-side. "Mahindra has been co-existing with FCA (and the Jeep brand) for over 25 years in India and in many other countries".

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