FCA makes official trade complaint to block Jeep-like Mahindra Roxor

Marco Green
Августа 4, 2018

That distinction could help Mahindra escape a ban, as there's no direct overlap between the Roxor and Jeep's products, but FCA's points are still valid from a design standpoint.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a complaint against Indian automaker Mahindra Wednesday, detailing a claim that the Mahindra Roxor is an unlawful infringement on FCA brand Jeep's intellectual property.

The implications of FCA's complaint on the Mahindra Roxor are now unclear.

"In fact, the accused product was modelled after the original Willys Jeep", FCA said in its complaint, that included photos comparing the two. Built in India since 1949, the Roxor's first ancestor was a Willys-licensed design that very closely resembled the military Jeep. 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. It is believed that Mahindra capitalises on the cost advantages of manufacturing its products in India, from where knocked-down units are imported to USA and finally reassembled in Detroit area.

The formal complaint also talks about Mahindra's "substantial foreign manufacturing capacity combined with its demonstrated intention to penetrate the United States market and harm FCA's goodwill and business".

Mahindra actually holds a license to build CJ-inspired vehicles and still sells them in India as the Thar. Fiat Chrysler fears that Mahindra, which has opened up an assembling facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan for the Roxor, will undercut Jeep sales in the United States thanks to its lower prices.

The ROXOR features a ladder-frame construction, metal body panels, 16-inch wheels and a four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission - quite a serious upgrade from the typical plastic-bodied side-by-side ATVs. 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. Roxor was launched on March 2, 2018 to be sold in US and Canada, creating a new sub-category in the Side x Side power sports segment.

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