Three Months ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) dragged Mahindra & Mahindra to court over violation of intellectual property rights (IPR). FCA has been barred from pursuing further investigation by the investigative staff that was appointed by the US Trade Commission.
If the findings of Commission Investigative Staff are accepted by the US Trade Commission, Mahindra and Mahindra will be allowed to import the Roxor off-road vehicle from India to market them locally in the United States. If everything goes well for Mahindra, it could mean a huge setback for FCA which had accused M&M of copying their iconic Jeep’s grille design for their Roxor.
The statement also stated that “FCA is contractually barred from pursuing the investigation if Mahindra’s vehicles contain or use the approved grille designs. The evidence shows that Mahindra’s Roxor uses the approved grille designs only. Thus, implying that Mahindra met its burden of providing by a preponderance of the evidence that FCA is barred from pursuing any other investigation.”
M&M launched the Roxor, an off-road but not street legal SUV in the US, last year in March. Roxor is powered by a 2.5-litres, 4 cylinders diesel engine and is priced at $15,000 in the US. Roxor follow’s its sibling, Thar’s design with no doors and no roof and without a windscreen. Exact details aren’t made public, but it is believed that more than 4,000 to have been retailed till now in the US.
This is the second time when Mahindra is trying to enter the US market. Before this, M&M had planned to launch its SUVs in the US in 2009. At that time, their roadblock was regulatory issues and they were never able to launch in the US and their dealer partners in the US were forced to file a lawsuit against the company in mid-2012.
Plans to launch its Korean SUV making subsidiary, SsangYong in the US was also dropped by M&M as their global distributors were against this plan. If everything goes well, M&M might be able to finally achieve their long-term goal of entering the US market.
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