FCA moves to ban U.S. sales of Mahindra's Jeep knockoff

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles this week sought to have the Mahindra Roxor banned from sale in the United States, claiming the two-seat 4×4 all-terrain vehicle apes the design of the original Willys Jeep.

"They are a almost identical copy of the iconic Jeep design", Fiat Chrysler said in its complaint, according to Bloomberg. "However, we have reviewed FCA's core filing and find it to be without merit", said the Mumbai-based company. "In fact, the accused product was 'modeled after the original Willys Jeep'".

Mahindra and FCA share a long licensing relationship that goes back to the 1940s "with the original agreement with Willys and continues to this day", an excerpt in the complaint stated. "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. The Roxor has authentic 4×4 looks and its historic connections with Jeep have put it under a whole lot of trouble.

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That's not all, though. "Nor did any of these past agreements grant any rights to manufacture, sell, or advertise vehicles, such as the Accused Products, incorporating the Jeep IP in the United States", FCA had said it is filing with the USA authorities. It is believed that Mahindra capitalises on the cost advantages of manufacturing its products in India, from where knocked-down units are imported to U.S. and finally reassembled in Detroit area.

The formal complaint also talks about Mahindra's "substantial foreign manufacturing capacity combined with its demonstrated intention to penetrate the United States market and harm FCA's goodwill and business".

The cars are then assembled in Detroit.

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In 2017, Mumbai-based Mahindra, which claims to be India's largest sport utility vehicle manufacturer, opened headquarters in Southeast Michigan for its newly developed North American branch.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is challenging Mahindra's ability to sell Roxor in the United States due to the tiny off-roader close resemblance to the Jeep Wrangler. The company saw an increase of 16 per cent in Jeep sales for July, leading to a 5.9 per cent rise in its annual overall sales. What's your take on the matter, folks?

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