Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Files Complaint Against Mahindra for Infringement
FCA Seeking to Block Marketing and Sale of Roxor Off-Highway Vehicle
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 Mahindra Roxor is based on an Indian-market sport-utility vehicle that is indeed built under license from FCA and its predecessors. Built in India since 1949, the Roxor’s first ancestor was a Willys-licensed design that very closely resembled the military Jeep.
FCA’s claim rises from the Roxor’s distinctly Jeep-like styling: a curved hood, round headlights, nearly vertical bodysides, a flat grille, exterior hood latches, and more. According to The Detroit News, Mahindra responded to the complaint Friday, calling it without merit given past agreements between the company and FCA.
“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.
“Our actions, products, and product distribution (including Roxor) both honor the legacy of the relationship and the terms of our agreements with FCA.”
The Italian-American automaker is requesting that the International Trade Commission investigate Mahindra’s distribution and sale of the Roxor in the United States. The complaint specifically calls for a ban on the importation and sale of the Mahindra Roxor in the U.S.
We certainly hope the two companies find a mutually acceptable solution to this. On one hand, the Roxor does a very close imitation of the Jeep CJ-5, but on the other, few people shopping for an authentic Jeep Wrangler will be satisfied by an off-highway–only machine with limited weather protection and a top speed of 45 mph. We don’t think the Roxor is doing any damage to Jeep’s reputation or sales, and we hope we’ll still see its diesel-powered retro charm on off-highway trails soon.
Source: The Detroit News