Mahindra has just won the case that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) filed in the United States. FCA had alleged that the Mahindra Thar-based Roxor was too similar to the Jeep Wrangler the former sells in the United States, and that this was a clear copyright violation. FCA also requested the US Trade Commission to stop Mahindra from importing and selling the Thar-based Roxor in the United States.
In response, Mahindra said that the an agreement it had reached with FCA in the past allowed it to market vehicles in the United States with a different grille design than what was offered on Jeeps. The US courts have now ruled in favour of Mahindra. This means that the Indian automaker can now import the Mahindra Thar-based Roxor to the United States and sell it as a side-by-side off road vehicle.
The Commission Investigative Staff believes that Mahindra & Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive North America, Inc. met their burden of establishing that FCA US LLC is contractually barred from enforcing its intellectual property rights against Mahindra’s importation of the accused vehicle. FCA is contractually barred from pursuing this investigation if Mahindra’s vehicles contain or use the approved grille design. The evidence shows that Mahindra’s Roxor uses the approved grille design. Thus, the record supports a finding that Mahindra met its burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that FCA is contractually barred from pursuing this Investigation.
The Roxor is based on the Mahindra Thar DI but comes with a range of changes to suit the US market. It’s finished much better than the Thar DI, and also comes with a range of accessories – from steel wheels to off-road tyres to different seat options and dashboard finishes. However, the engine of the Roxor is the same as the one offered on the Mahindra Thar DI, and the same is the case with the gearbox.
The Mahindra Roxor is powered by a 2.5 liter M2DICR turbocharged diesel engine with 63 Bhp-180 Nm on tap. A 5 speed manual gearbox is standard, along with a Borg-Warner 4 wheel drive transfer case with low and high ratios. The Mahindra Roxor gets a power steering, and leaf spring suspension on all four wheels. It’s a bare basic off roader that is speed limited to 72 Kmph.
While the Roxor is meant to compete with ATVs in the United States, Mahindra sells a much more powerful, road-going version in India but with the Thar CRDe badge. The Mahindra Thar CRDe is powered by a 2.5 liter turbocharged diesel motor with 105 Bhp-247 Nm on tap. The Thar CRDe gets independent front suspension and leaf spring suspension at the rear. It gets a four wheel drive layout and a mechanical locking differential on the rear axle.