FCA's claim rises from the Roxor's distinctly Jeep-like styling: a curved hood, round headlights, almost vertical bodysides, a flat grille, exterior hood latches, and more.
But it seems all bets are now off for Fiat Chrysler, which drew the USA trade commission's attention to Mahindra's "substantial foreign manufacturing capacity combined with its demonstrated intention to penetrate the United States market and harm FCA's goodwill and business".
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has attempted to block Indian auto maker Mahindra from importing its Roxor SUV to the United States, claiming that it copies the design of the original Willys Jeep. The grievance specifically cited the Roxor's "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood" among the many similarities, according to Automotive News. The carmaker said in its complaint that the Roxor was a near identical copy of the iconic Jeep design and was modelled after the original Willy's MB. Mahindra has not yet been served with the complaint and we prefer not to comment at length on the dispute at this time.
The Mahindra Roxor is based on an Indian-market sport-utility vehicle that is indeed built under license from FCA and its predecessors.
Conversely, Mahindra said FCA's complaint is without merit.
Jeep, now owned by the Marchionne-built Fiat-Chrysler empire, has now entered the Indian auto market and the decades-old license has begun becoming a matter of contention.
But the Roxor is the first vehicle to be produced - from imported knocked-down kits imported from India - at Mahindra Automotive North America's new $600 million manufacturing facility in Detroit.
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. "Based on these agreements and our history, we believe that FCA's claims are baseless and Mahindra is well within its rights to both manufacture and distribute the ROXOR off-road vehicle", Mahindra added.
The Italian-American automaker is requesting that the International Trade Commission investigate Mahindra's distribution and sale of the Roxor in the United States.
Mahindra also claims that it has peacefully co-existed with the FCA group in multiple markets across the world including its home market of India.