Mahindra to Fiat Chrysler: Nah, We're Selling Our Little Jeepy-Jeep Thing
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]
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- Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
- VoGhost I'm clearly in the minority here, but I think this is a smart move. Apple is getting very powerful, and has slowly been encroaching on the driving experience over the last decade. Companies like GM were on the verge of turning into mere hardware vendors to the Apple brand. "Is that a new car; what did you get?" "I don't remember. But it has the latest Apple OS, which is all I care about." Taking back the driving experience before it was too late might just be GM's smartest move in a while.
- VoGhost Can someone Christian explain to me what this has to do with Jesus and bunnies?
- Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
- TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
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?
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.