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William Maley

Industry News: Mahindra Fights Back Against FCA's Complaint

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Earlier this month, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over the Mahindra Roxor - a side-by-side off-road utility. FCA alleges that the certain design elements of the Roxor infringe on the " intellectual property rights of FCA's Jeep design," and is wanting to stop the sale of the model in the U.S.

Mahindra is fighting back. Reuters reports that the company has filed a public interest statement with the U.S. ITC and started proceedings in a Michigan court for an injunction into FCA's complaint.

We are asking the court to block Fiat from participating in the ITC [International Trade Commission] claim -- an injunction -- because of the fact that they agreed in 2009 to never bring such claims if we use a grille that they approved. The Roxor uses that grille," Mahindra said in a statement. (Emphasis mine).

"We are also arguing that Fiat is using the ITC case to harm our ROXOR business by creating negative publicity, damaging our reputation and our stature in the marketplace.”

FCA in its complaint said that Roxor imports will hurt them as the model are underselling the Jeep Wrangler. A lot of this comes down to the Roxor being manufactured in India, and then shipping the model as a knock-down kit to their Detroit-area assembly plant for final assembly. Mahindra disputes this, saying the Roxor doesn't compete with the Wrangler as it's a side-by-side off-road utility.

" We also demonstrated that the ROXOR is a vehicle that was always intended only as an off-road vehicle, does not compete with Fiat vehicles, is manufactured and assembled in the first OEM plant to be built in Michigan, USA, in the last 25 years, was the result of more than three years of research and development, and categorically rejected the notion that the ROXOR was an imported low quality “knock-off” kit car," the company said.

Source: Reuters via Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mahindra


Mumbai, August 29, 2018 – “A complaint was filed by FCA US, LLC (“Fiat”) with the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) against Mahindra which we believe is without merit. In response, we have taken a number of actions both within the ITC and in Federal District Court that we would like to share with you. Mahindra filed a Public Interest Statement with the ITC on August 22, 2018. This Statement expresses our position on this matter and explains how it is in the public interest for the ITC to rule against Fiat and in favor of Mahindra.

Our goals on the public interest statement were two-fold. One was to state our position on the merits and the other was to correct inaccuracies regarding Mahindra as a company and the ROXOR as a product. We set the record straight on the history of Mahindra, including its U.S. operations. We also demonstrated that the ROXOR is a vehicle that was always intended only as an off-road vehicle, does not compete with Fiat vehicles, is manufactured and assembled in the first OEM plant to be built in Michigan, USA, in the last 25 years, was the result of more than three years of research and development, and categorically rejected the notion that the ROXOR was an imported low quality “knock-off” kit car.

On August 23, 2018, Mahindra filed a complaint in Federal Court in Michigan on the issue of the applicability and enforcement of our 2009 agreement with Fiat. We are asking the court to block Fiat from participating in the ITC claim – an injunction – because of the fact that they agreed in 2009 to never bring such claims if we use a grille that they approved. The ROXOR uses that grille. We are also arguing that Fiat is using the ITC case to harm our ROXOR business by creating negative publicity, damaging our reputation and our stature in the marketplace.”


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Who cares, not me. No use for an off road only product that cannot go on the streets too.

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No one is going to cross shop this crap with a Wrangler, and it's not even street legal.  Seems pretty baseless for a complaint.

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All of you assume that the Roxor will always be off-road and NEVER street legal.  Mahindra could modify the Roxor to be street legal and take on the Wrangler one day.  It may sound pedantic, but FCA is right to defend its trademarks against all comers.

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3 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

All of you assume that the Roxor will always be off-road and NEVER street legal.  Mahindra could modify the Roxor to be street legal and take on the Wrangler one day.  It may sound pedantic, but FCA is right to defend its trademarks against all comers.

I doubt if that could be made street legal...wouldn't pass US crash tests, emissions, etc.   True, though..no different than FCA suing a die cast maker selling unbranded Jeep toys.   

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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4 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

No one is going to cross shop this crap with a Wrangler, and it's not even street legal.  Seems pretty baseless for a complaint.

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FCA is looking bad here, especially after the 2009 agreement.  Silly to think there is harm to FCA.  Think of how many Ram owners would put one of these on a trailer and go adventuring because it looks like an old Jeep... yet have enough sense to distinguish the two.

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3 hours ago, ocnblu said:

FCA is looking bad here, especially after the 2009 agreement.  Silly to think there is harm to FCA.  Think of how many Ram owners would put one of these on a trailer and go adventuring because it looks like an old Jeep... yet have enough sense to distinguish the two.

Maybe FCA can cut a licensing deal and Mahindra can badge it as a Jeep...it's basically an adult version of a Power Wheels Jeep. 

unnamed-15.jpg

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Thinking on this, maybe the point of FCA lawsuit is they realize money is on the table due to the success of say Yamaha ATV's and people wanting a bit bigger. So creating an off road Jeep ATV that they sell for 15-20K dollars is a great idea, but late to the party when you have a 10K Mahindra already here.

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Maybe if Jeep offered a Wrangler for 15-18k(where the Roxor is priced at) they'd have me on their side but the cheapest Wrangler is 28k. 

I think I remembered reading yesterday that the Roxor has a 62hp/140tq engine matted to a 5spd manual only. Seems like it would be the perfect ranch vehicle. 

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Remember guys that Mahindra has a license to make it dating back to just after WW2 that and they're agreement of 2009. I haven't seen anything yet that shows me that Mahindra is in the wrong.

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5 minutes ago, 67impss said:

Remember guys that Mahindra has a license to make it dating back to just after WW2 that and they're agreement of 2009. I haven't seen anything yet that shows me that Mahindra is in the wrong.

True, I think all would be fine had they kept it in the Indian market.  Selling it in the US is what is irritating FCA.

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Irritating yes but without reading the license or agreement nor FCA bringing up any specific points I can't see Mahindra being so stupid as to break the license and agreement which is they're cash cow (no pun intended)

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