Anand Mahindra Calls Fiat Chrysler’s Allegations Of Jeep Design Imitation Baseless
Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, dismissed as “baseless” the allegation by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV that its off-roader Mahindra Roxor looks similar to the iconic Jeep.
“We haven’t received any complaints from Fiat Chrysler,” Mahindra said at the company’s 72nd annual general meeting in Mumbai today.
Bloomberg reported that the Fiat Chrysler group, in a complaint filed against Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. at the U.S. International Trade Commission, said the Roxor infringed the Jeep’s “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood”. Fiat Chrysler called it a nearly identical copy of the Jeep design, according to the report.
M&M set up headquarters in southeast Michigan for its North American branch. It also announced plans to invest $600 million to manufacture the Roxor at the facility. The Michigan unit, the Bloomberg report said, has tripled its workforce and plans to have nearly 670 workers by 2020.
Fiat Chrysler said that the Roxor will hurt the sales of its Jeep in the U.S.—one of its key markets. It said M&M will capitalise on the advantage of low-cost manufacturing in India and import knocked-down kits to the U.S., where they will be assembled.