Indian automotive giant Mahindra and Mahindra has filed a public interest statement with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in response to a complaint filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) asking for a ban on the sales of the Mahindra Roxor.
On August 1, 2018, FCA filed a complaint with the ITC asking for a ban on the sales of the Mahindra Roxor SUV in the United States. FCA claimed that the Roxor infringed upon the designs of its SUV-brand Jeep. FCA also asked for a ban on the import of any parts or components by Mahindra which infringed on its intellectual property rights into the United States.
In its public interest statement filed with the ITC, Mahindra’s North American subsidiary Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA), alleges that FCA is using the ITC case to harm its Roxor business in the United States with negative publicity, which is damaging its reputation and stature in the American car market.
In the public interest statement filed with ITC from Mahindra states, “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 US operations. We also demonstrated that the Roxor is a vehicle that was always intended only as off-road, does not compete with Fiat vehicles, is manufactured and assembled in the first OEM plant to be built in Michigan 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.”
Mahindra earlier on August 23, 2018, filed for an injunction with a district court in Michigan, the American state where its North American subsidiary is based in. The filing asks the court to enforce the Grill Design Agreement that Mahindra had executed with the FCA in 2009 for the use of the 4.5 vertical slat grille featured on the Roxor. Mahindra claims that the FCA should be stopped from proceeding with its complaint with the ITC, as it is using the grille with the approval of Fiat Chrysler Automotive.
In papers filed with the court, Mahindra says, “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.”