Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is challenging Mahindra's ability to sell Roxor in the United States due to the tiny off-roader's close resemblance to the Jeep Wrangler. FCA filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission that could prevent Mahindra's vehicle from entering the market. The grievance specifically cited the Roxor's "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood" among the many similarities, according to Automotive News.
Mahindra debuted the Roxor in March but hasn't yet put the little vehicle on sale because the business has been building a dealer body. According to Automotive News, Mahindra intends to manufacture all of the components for them in India and ship them to the U.S. to be assembled as kits at the company's new factory in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
In its filing, FCA cited the Indian company's "substantial foreign manufacturing capacity combined with its demonstrated intention to penetrate the United States market and harm FCA's goodwill and business," according to Automotive News.
The Roxor certainly looks a whole lot like an old CJ Jeep, but a key differentiation is that the Mahindra is not street legal. Instead, the Roxor competes in the side-by-side segment against vehicles from companies like Polaris and Yamaha. It comes with a 2.5-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder producing 62 bhp with 144 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual and low-range transfer case channels the power to the ground. This setup only allows for a top speed of 45 miles per hour. It also uses a leaf-spring suspension and has solid axles at the front and rear. Despite the simple appearance, the Roxor still weighs a hefty 1,361 kilograms.
Mahindra actually holds a license to build CJ-inspired vehicles and still sells them in India as the Thar. However, it's unlikely this agreement applies outside of the Indian market, which might be trouble for the Roxor, depending on the Trade Commission's decision.