Mahindra to Fiat Chrysler: Nah, We're Selling Our Little Jeepy-Jeep Thing

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

There’s an Indo-Italian-American battle heating up in Michigan. Mahindra and Mahindra, maker of the absolutely adorable, U.S.-built Roxor ATV, is fighting back against Fiat Chrysler’s efforts to squash the little all-terrain vehicle’s future in this country.

FCA’s beef is this: the generously proportioned ATV, which is not road legal here (but is in India), bears a striking resemblance to a classic Jeep CJ7. At the beginning of the month, the automaker filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in an bid to stop the importation of Roxor parts to the company’s Michigan factory.

Not gonna happen, Mahindra says. You saw our grille and you gave it the thumbs up.

According to Reuters, Mahindra isn’t having any of this patent violation kerfuffle. The company announced Wednesday that it is seeking an injunction to stop FCA’s complaint, calling it “without merit.”

In a press release, Mahindra said it filed a public interest statement with the ITC on August 22nd, in which it explains why the powers that be should rule in its favor.

Mahindra said it “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.”

A day after issuing its statement, Mahindra filed a complaint with the Federal Court of Michigan, seeking an injunction on the grounds that a 2009 agreement between the two companies forbids FCA from going after the Roxor. Mahindra claims FCA agreed “to never bring such claims if we use a grille that they approved.”

“The Roxor uses that grille,” Mahindra wrote. “We are also arguing that Fiat is using the ITC case to harm our Roxor business by creating negative publicity, damaging our reputation and our stature in the marketplace.”

With a price similar to that of an entry-level car, the Roxor splits the difference between smaller ATVs and road-legal brush busters. The vehicle employs a 62-horsepower diesel four-cylinder and a conventional five-speed manual transmission.

[Images: Mahindra and Mahindra]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • TheBrandler TheBrandler on Aug 30, 2018

    Where the hell do you even use this thing? Can't drive it on the road, and to big to fit on standard ATV trails - what's the actual point of this thing?

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    • Gtem Gtem on Sep 02, 2018

      A) People with some acreage B) People who currently trailer Jeeps to offroad parks. I would absolutely pick this over a modern side-by-side, just way more fun to bounce along in an old school Jeep.

  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Aug 30, 2018

    You can drive it on secondary roads in WI. Don't even need a license. You can also drink and drive in it in some counties which I think is the stupidest idea they could come up with.* *The speed limit for all ATVs and SxS vehicles is 30mph. Like that makes a difference.

  • Analoggrotto I did a dozen or so laps around Atlanta Motorsports Park for a charity once. Camber and toe on my car were horribly wrong and made the entire experience awful.
  • Tassos Jong-iL The Peninsula of One Korea.
  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).