In early August Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) filed a copyright infringement claim against Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, saying the newly released ROXOR off-road vehicle violated FCA’s intellectual property.
Mahindra has now responded to the complaint with an August 22 filing in Federal District Court and the International Trade Commission (ITC). Mahindra says it has a 2009 agreement to use an approved grille currently being produced on the ROXOR.
Mahindra said in a statement, “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 U.S. operations. We also demonstrated that the ROXOR is a vehicle that was always intended only as an off-road vehicle, does not compete with Fiat vehicles, is manufactured and assembled in the first OEM plant to be built in Michigan, USA, 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 is also arguing that Fiat is using the ITC case to harm and stop production of the ROXOR by creating negative publicity as well as damaging their reputation.
The ROXOR was released in March as an off-road–only vehicle built entirely at Mahindra’s Detroit plant. While it resembles the Jeep CJ, the ROXOR is powered by a 2.5L turbodiesel with marketing targeted at farmers and hunters who need a capable vehicle to complete their tasks.