The Mahindra Roxor, a two-seat all-terrain vehicle with retro Jeep styling, isn't permitted for use on USA roads, and is instead classed as a Utility Task Vehicle.
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. According to a Bloomberg report, FCA claims that the Mahindra Roxor infringes key characteristics of Jeep's signature trade dress, namely the "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood". "In fact, the accused product was 'modeled after the original Willys Jeep'". "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.
FCA wants Mahindra to stop importing Roxor into USA via CKD route and assemble at Detroit.
Mahindra's association with Jeep goes back more than 50 years when the Indian entrepreneurs licensed the Jeep CJs to build and sell across India.
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The 1377kg Mahindra Roxor measures just 3759mm long and 1574mm wide - 480mm shorter and 303mm narrower than the smallest, two-door Wrangler and more like a Suzuki Jimny.
"FCA has appealed to authorities to bring an immediate halt to all sales and marketing activities of the Mahindra Roxor in the USA while calling it unlawful and unauthorized".
"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". Mahindra had also signed another agreement FCA's predecessor, Chrysler LLC in 2009.
"The Roxor is a derivative of Mahindra vehicles distributed in those markets".
Mahindra sells trucks and tractors - and light vehicles under its SsangYong brand - in the United States, but the Indian auto giant does not sell passenger cars there.
"The Roxor is going to start a new journey for Mahindra in the United States, establishing our reputation of offering tough, durable and rugged off-road vehicles, just like what we have accomplished with our tractors being sold here".