After a U.S. court ruled in favor of Fiat Chrysler’s claims that the Mahindra Roxor is too similar to the American brand’s Jeep, it was recommended the Indian model be banned in the United States market.
But Mahindra is not going down without a fight.
The Indian automaker in an interview shared its side to clear misunderstandings surrounding the issue. It argues why the brand is entitled to use the Jeep CJ-style design that is also being used by Fiat Chrysler.
First and foremost, Mahindra says the ruling by the Administrative Law Judge is not binding. The company insists the ruling is nothing but a recommendation to the US International Trade Commission, which can then decide whether to accept or reject, in full or in part, the judge’s ruling. Mahindra also clarifies that a cease-and-desist order has not been issued for the company and that it was them (not FCA) that took the matter to court. The decision to do so, according to Mahindra, is for the company to secure its right to produce and sell the Roxor in America.
The story goes back further when Willy’s, Jeep’s original producer, licensed CJ’s design to several manufacturers around the world in the years following the Second World War. Among these manufacturers was Mahindra, which was founded n 1945 and has apparently been producing the said style since 1947.
This gives Mahindra just as much right to use and profit off the design as FCA, whose most recent Jeep Wrangler has a passing resemblance to the Willys-era CJ and Mahindra’s Roxor.
The Indian automaker also points out the efforts it took to set the Roxor apart from the Wrangler, especially the fact that the former is specifically built for off-road use. Mahindra also claims that FCA did not clearly define the “Jeep Trade Dress,” which the judge deemed Mahindra has violated.
Given Mahndra’s insinuations, it looks like the legal battle between the two companies is not going to end anytime soon.