The Fiat Chrysler group filed the complaint on Aug. 1 at the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking to ban Indian automotive giant Mahindra from importing its Roxor SUV into the United States. They claimed that the Mahindra Roxor is a clear copy of the iconic Jeep design – namely the “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood.”
“They are a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design,” Fiat Chrysler said in its complaint, which included photos comparing the Roxor to the Jeep. “In fact, the accused product was ‘modeled after the original Willys Jeep.’”
Fiat Chrysler has become increasingly reliant on its Jeep product line. On Wednesday, the company reported its highest ever July sales for Jeep brand vehicles, up 16 percent, to power the company’s overall 5.9 percent jump from a year ago.
Fiat Chrysler’s complaint comes at a time when the Italian American conglomerate has become highly dependent on its Jeep brand of SUVs, which have been growing in popularity across the world and has been selling in ever-increasing numbers. Fiat Chrysler fears that Mahindra, which has opened up an assembling facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan for the Roxor, will undercut Jeep sales in the United States thanks to its lower prices.
The case is In the Matter of Certain Motorized Vehicles and Components Thereof, Complaint No. 3330, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington)