FCA has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the sale of the Mahindra Roxor in the United States. India’s Mahindra & Mahindra has set up shop in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills to produce the Roxor from knock-down kits.
The Roxor, which is based on the design of the original Willys Jeep, does not meet current U.S. vehicle standards and is to be sold as an off-highway vehicle. It’s powered by a turbo-diesel 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine backed by a five-speed manual transmission. With 62 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque, it’s good for a top speed of 45 mph.
As reported by Bloomberg, Fiat Chrysler’s complaint asserts that the Roxor is “a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design” and that the vehicle was “modelled after the original Willys Jeep.”
With an overall length of approximately 148 inches and a 98.0-inch wheelbase, the Roxor is roughly the size of a CJ7; the current JL Wrangler in two-door form has a 96.8-inch wheelbase and is 166.8 inches long. Mahindra advertises the Roxor at $15,899 for a base unit, versus $28,940 for a base two-door JL Wrangler.
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In its complaint, FCA further cites Mahindra’s “demonstrated intention to penetrate the United States market and harm FCA’s goodwill and business.” Is an off-highway Indian four-by-four clearly based on a Jeep design damaging to Jeep’s current business? It looks as if that will be a question for the lawyers to decide.
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