Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

FCA to block Mahindra Jeep copycat from entering US

FCA to block Mahindra Jeep copycat from entering US

The Mahindra Roxor, a two-seat all-terrain vehicle with retro Jeep styling, isn't permitted for use on U.S. roads, and is instead classed as a Utility Task Vehicle. While there isn't much FCA can do in the Indian market owing to the license and legacy, the Roxor's similarity to the Jeep CJs is tantalising. FCA also alleges that the Mahindra Roxor would harm the goodwill and business it enjoys in the United States due to the fact that Mahindra imports the Roxor into the USA as completely knocked down units, which are built in India, allowing the Indian carmaker to undercut the price of Jeeps built in the US.

FCA has filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Mahindra & Mahindra, hoping to put a stop on the import of the Indian SUV maker's new product for the United States, the Mahindra Roxor. The carmaker said in its complaint that the Roxor was a near identical copy of the iconic Jeep design and was modelled after the original Willy's MB. Commenting on the allegation that Mahindra off-roader infringes key characteristics of FCA's Jeep-branded SUVs, India automaker said, "We understand that a complaint has been filed by FCA with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against Mahindra. However, we have reviewed FCA's core filing and find it to be without merit", said the Mumbai-based company.

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

Built in India since 1949, the Roxor's first ancestor was a Willys-licensed design that very closely resembled the military Jeep.

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Mahindra Roxor was first announced in November 2017, and launched in an electronically speed limited avatar in the United States in March, 2018.

"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.

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"The Roxor is a derivative of Mahindra vehicles distributed in those markets". Instead, the Roxor competes in the side-by-side segment against vehicles from companies like Polaris and Yamaha. "Mahindra has been co-existing with FCA for over 25 years in India and in many other countries", Rich Ansell, spokesperson for Mahindra North America, told the publication.

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