Mahindra has gotten into trouble again in the USA with the Roxor with the Stelantis group, which now owns Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The Mahindra Roxor is an off-road vehicle based on the previous generation Thar and has been facing trouble ever since its US launch back in 2018.
FCA has been looking to deter Mahindra from selling the Roxor in the US market citing its resemblance to the Jeep. Back in 2019, FCA filed a lawsuit against Mahindra in Michigan and before the International Trade Commission.
Since then, Mahindra tweaked the design of the Roxor in early 2020 and later in the same year again to make it look different as per the court ruling. However, as per the latest ruling by the Detroit federal court, Mahindra was allowed to continue selling the updated Roxor as they would not confuse customers and the court also said that customers will immediately know the difference between a Jeep and the Roxor upon seeing the vehicles.
Now, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals has deemed that the earlier ruling was done using incorrect tests. The court also said that since Mahindra was a known infringer, the court should have had stricter standards.
According to US Circuit Judge Helene White, “Because a court can enjoin even a non-infringing product under the safe-distance rule, the simple fact that a known infringer’s redesigned product is non-infringing does not support the conclusion that the safe-distance rule should not apply.” The ruling has also directed the Detroit court to see if the new Roxors maintained a “safe distance” from the Jeep design.
Speaking on the situation, Mahindra says that the company is optimistic that the verdict will be in favour of the company as before. FCA on the other hand has not commented on the situation.
Powered by a 2.5-litre engine, the Mahindra Roxor has gained popularity in the US since its sold as a strict off-road vehicle, however, with a few modifications, it can be road-legal in a few US states. The Roxor is available with a 5-speed manual or an automatic gearbox.