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Mahindra responds to reports about Roxor legal matters

North Carolina-based Mahindra Vehicle Sales and Service Inc. has issued the following statement to the media:

“We are aware of recent media reports about an initial ruling made a few weeks ago by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in our International Trade Commission (ITC) matter with FCA. The articles boil a 91-page opinion down to a few sentences, include misleading characterizations about the litigation to-date and fail to include several important and relevant facts about Mahindra and ROXOR.

“For example, the reporting fails to point out that the ALJ concluded Mahindra’s ROXOR does not infringe on any of FCA’s registered trademarks and does not dilute FCA’s claimed Jeep Trade Dress. While the initial ruling concludes that the ROXOR violates “Jeep Trade Dress,” until this case, FCA had never defined what it believes to be the “Jeep Trade Dress” or identified it as a business asset in any filings (bankruptcy or otherwise). Instead, at trial, FCA admitted that it believes it can define and redefine its “Jeep Trade Dress” depending on the product it is challenging — an unreasonable, anti-competitive, anti- business stance that, if successful, could cost good-paying American jobs. It should also be noted that while the articles reference the Jeep CJ, no mention is made of the fact that FCA has not offered the CJ in the United States market for over thirty-five years. They also don’t mention that ROXOR is an off-road only vehicle or that it sells for under $16,000. Nor do the articles discuss the fact that no ROXOR owners bought the vehicle thinking it was an FCA/Jeep product.

“The ROXOR was engineered and developed in the U.S. and is based on the same platform as Mahindra’s Thar vehicle that is sold in India and many other markets. Mahindra has been manufacturing the Thar and its predecessors since just after World War II. The ROXOR’s resemblance to the CJ and military-style Willys jeep is directly related to this 70-year heritage.

“The ROXOR is manufactured in Auburn Hills, Michigan at the first assembly plant to be built in Southeast Michigan in over a quarter of a century. Mahindra has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into building its U.S. operations and currently operates multiple facilities in the Detroit area. It employs more than 400 U.S. employees and hundreds more through its network of over 400 dealers and U.S. suppliers.

“Ultimately, the ALJ’s opinion is only a recommendation, and we have asked the entire ITC to review it. The ITC has the discretion to either adopt the ALJ’s opinion in whole or in part, rewrite parts of it, or completely reject it. Therefore, it is very important to wait for the ITC review to be finalized. While there are reports of a cease and desist order with respect to the ROXOR, no such order has been entered. Finally, it was Mahindra, not FCA, who commenced the legal action in the Federal District Court in Michigan. We did this in an attempt to enjoin the ITC action and assert injury claims to our business and reputation as a result of unfair and anticompetitive actions by FCA.

“We look forward to the next stage of the ITC’s review process and will continue to stand by the truth, genuineness and authenticity of our business.”

10 comments

  1. As a JEEP owner I feel that allowing this product to remain on the market devalues my investment in a JEEP vehicle. On road, off road, whatever; it is a cheap looking likely cheaply engineered and manufactured knock off of an American icon. I hope JEEP prevails, otherwise it will be open plagiarism on anything worthwhile.

    • Kind of like when Harley sued Honda over the sound of an engine? That worked out well in the end.....

      • Actually it did work out well. Harley wound up owning 60% of the US cruiser market and still owns over 50% of that same market. As a business you need to protect what's yours and the Roxor is a clear knock off.

        • Its seems like a great compliment to Mahindra that Jeep owners themselves are worried about this UTV. And calling it a cheap knock off is hilarious. The turbo diesel engine in the Roxor will outlast any Jeep engine in production. It is used in vehicles outside the US in places with horrible road conditions. Good luck to Mahindra even though I don't think they need it. Worst case scenario they might have to redesign the body a bit lol.

    • Raymond, Mahindra purchased Willys after WWII, so they have been producing the design for far longer than Chrysler. It doesn't devalue your Jeep, as they do not compete in the same street legal market.
      They are actually well built, as Mahindra has been producing this style of vehicle for more than 70 years!
      Frankly, anybody seeing the Roxor is more likely to mistake it for a Willys, or AMC CJ5 than your modern Fiat Jeep

  2. Jeep....or Chrysler Fiat is no more Keep than the Roxor. Both owe their existence to Willys and Kaiser and American Motors. That said the Mahindra line certainly has stayed true to the heritage and design and for far longer. If your modern Jeep feels threatened then I'm sure it's your own insecurity rather than any real infringement.

  3. Raymond, you mentioned JEEP not CJ, that should be the only vehicle in comparison, 5,7 or 8. I didn't hear any competitors complaining when the Wrangler wore square headlights that a competitor probably had, just JEEP people. Having had a CJ5 for 3.5 years and 80k miles being towed back 200 miles when a roll pin in transmission came out and left me in reverse gear miles up a trail. Traded in with no half shafts up front or front drive shaft because I drove it like the old CJ commercials depicted.
    So if you're like the majority of new JEEP Wrangler owners that don't even see a forest service road leave the real utility side of a now OFF ROAD ONLY VEHICLE to the people who want a turn key modern RELIABLE UTV.

    • Jeep never has been a reliable vehicle, only has been a half way there start, for off-roading.
      Marketing has made it the ute/sport ride it is.
      You've spoken the truth.

  4. The two vehicles are different period. Why take an $80 K vehicle out on the trail, when you can purchase a vehicle that is cheaper and easier to repair. I see this working out for Roxor and building a street version as well. This way you can drive to your off road camping or hunting spot. If you desire a vehicle, with all the bells and whistles that can run all day on the interstate at 75 mph than purchase a Jeep. I love both of them.

  5. This is nonsense. The Mahindra Roxor is based on an original Jeep design. However, Mahindra purchased the license/the rights from Willys many, many years ago. Further, every subsequent owner of the brand including FCA most happily re-signed those agreements with Mahindra along the way. The Roxor is NOTHING like a modern Wrangler and no buyer out there interested in a modern Wrangler would want a Roxor instead. Original Jeeps were designed to be a tractor you could also take to town. Our lifestyles have changed such that very few people need a tractor, let alone one you can take to town. Modern Wranglers have aweso.e capabilities and comfort, but they would be marginal as a serious off pavement tool, like a tractor. One does not dilute the other, they do not cross paths normally, and if anything at all, having the retro styled Roxor around only enhances the Wranglers appeal.

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