Mahindra Group is seeking to expand its footprint in the international market and as a prominent step in that direction, it has set-up a facility, Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) in North America. While Mahindra has recently rolled out Roxor in the US market, the company has already started facing the heat. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) have slammed Mahindra of copying designs of its subsidiary, Jeep. FCA has also filed a complaint with the US international Trade Commission for the same.
FCA was keen on preventing Roxor’s sale in the US market. It has also submitted the photos of Roxor juxtaposed to Jeep, in a bid to show similarities in design. The Roxor is essentially an off-roader, based on Mahindra’s stellar SUV, Thar, which is quite popular in India, especially in the rural market. According to Jeep, Roxor features key characters of Jeep’s design that features a boxy shape with flat-appearing flanks and rear body having the same height as hood. FCA has mentioned in its complaint that Roxor is heavily inspired by the original Willys Jeep.
Mahindra has however released an official statement in response to the complaint which clarifies the issue. It has also mentioned in the statement that MANA has the right to produce and sale Roxor in the US market. For those not in the know Mahindra and FCA’s collaboration date back to the 1940s when they inked the original agreement with Willys that continues till date.
Mahindra has further clarified that it has co-existed with FCA not only in India but several other markets. It has also mentioned that Roxor is a derivative of models that are distributed in those markets. The company maintains that FCA’s claims are baseless and it has the right to both manufacture and distribute Roxor off-road vehicle in the US market.