Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission in an attempt to stop Mahindra from selling an apparent Jeep copycat in that country.
According to Bloomberg, FCA filed the complaint at the start of August, suggesting that the design of the new Mahindra Roxor – a two-seater off-road vehicle based on the Thar – infringed on Jeep’s trademark styling.
The complaint claimed that the Roxor had adopted Jeep’s signature “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood”.
“They are a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design. In fact, the accused product was ‘modelled after the original Willys Jeep’,” FCA said in its complaint, adding that Roxor imports into the US threatened it with “substantial injury” as Mahindra was undercutting Jeeps on price.
Mahindra, however, hit back, pointing out to Bloomberg that the two automakers had a licensing relationship that dated back to the 1940s, including “the original agreement with Willys”.
“Our actions, products, and product distribution both honour the legacy of the relationship and the terms of our agreements with FCA. 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.