Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the world-renowned auto manufacturer and seller, recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging the Indian auto manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra of producing a vehicle that has uncanny similarity with FCA’s iconic Jeep.
According to Bloomberg, FCA is seeking to block the import of the Indian off-road vehicle in the U.S. market claiming that the Mahindra Roxor has characteristics that can be labeled as an infringement on the Jeep’s signature design.
Mahindra, which claims itself to the largest SUV manufacturer of India, established its North American headquarters in Southeast Michigan in 2017. The company refuted FCA’s complaint and said its claims are without merit. Rich Ansell, spokesperson for Mahindra, North America, said that all the company’s products, actions and product distributions honor the terms of agreements and the legacy of the relationship that Mahindra has with FCA.
Fiat Chrysler is also opposed to the import of Roxor on the basis of the fact that the Roxor, which is modelled on the original Willy’s MB is poised to cause substantial injury to FCA Jeep sales as the Roxor is much cheaper than the Jeep. FCA complained that Mahindra’s considerable foreign manufacturing capacity along with its intended purpose to flood the U.S. automotive market with its products will impair FCA’s business and goodwill. Mahindra plans to manufacture its products in India and sell its imported units in the U.S., knocked down versions of which will be assembled in Detroit.
FCA’s efforts of protecting its Jeep sales are legitimate as the company has come increasingly to depend on the sales of the Jeep line up, claim experts. According to reliable sources, the company made an overall jump of 5.9% from 2017 powered by its sales of Jeep which recorded its highest ever July sales in 2018.
For the record, Mahindra plans to invest approximately $600 million for its Roxor manufacturing facility. The Michigan unit plans to employ as many as 670 workers by 2020.
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