Bloomberg reports that FCA's complaint to the US International Trade Commission alleges that the Roxor infringes upon Jeep's "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood", and that the Indian brand's selling of the Roxor in the US infringes on key characteristics of its cars.
American SUV icon Jeep's parent company Fiat Chrysler has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission seeking to ban Indian automotive giant Mahindra from importing its Roxor SUV into the United States.
Fiat Chrysler has become increasingly reliant on its Jeep product line.
Earlier this year, Mahindra invested US$ 230 million in a new facility in Detroit. 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. FCA claims the "accused product was modelled after original Willys Jeep" and it damages the Jeep brand's reputation, goodwill and business in the American market.
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With a four-cylinder turbodiesel engine and five-speed manual gearbox, the Roxor is limited to 45 miles per hour to comply with US UTV regulations.
MANA, or Mahindra Automotive North America, wants to make it very clear that the new ROXOR vehicle they are offering the North American market is for off-road use only.
FCA's claim rises from the Roxor's distinctly Jeep-like styling: a curved hood, round headlights, almost vertical bodysides, a flat grille, exterior hood latches, and more. In the complaint, FCA has also claimed that Mahindra's access to cheap labour and increasing investments in the U.S. could harm FCA's goodwill and business.
Despite the fact that the ROXOR is not sold in the U.S.as a road-legal vehicle, Jeep's legal challenge on trade dress grounds is seen as a pre-emptive move against a future road-legal ROXOR, as well as the arrival of other Wrangler competitors from China.
The Roxor is classified as an "off-highway vehicle" in the U.S. and is not road-legal.