It was reported last week that Mahindra has won the legal battle in the US against FCA regarding the sales Roxor SUV. However, in a statement to Carscoops, FCA claimed that these reports are incorrect. Mike Palese, Manager, Legal Communications, FCA North America, stated that the US’ International Trade Commission which is investigating this case has not rendered a decision.
He further added that the Indian media outlets mistakenly reported a brief filed by a party in the litigation (Mahindra in this case) as a decision or in some cases predictive of a decision. The automaker also shared its US International Trade Commission’s post-hearing reply in which it opposes the point made by the brief which seems to be the source of the mistaken media reports from India.
The Indian media reports claim that investigative staff appointed by US ITC has barred FCA from pursuing the investigation further. The reports also say that if the ITC accepts the findings of the Commission Investigative Staff it will allow Mahindra to sell Roxor in the US. However, FCA alleges that “Mahindra has failed to carry its burden in showing that all of FCA’s claims fall under the narrow scope of the 2009 Agreement. The Investigation against Respondents should therefore proceed.”
To recap, the Roxor is a US-only derivative of Thar and is assembled in the US out of CKD kits. FCA dragged Mahindra & Mahindra and its subsidiary Mahindra Automotive North America to court in the US alleging that the Roxor infringes intellectual property and has certain design cues that are identical to those of Jeep Wrangler. FCA argued that the much cheaper Mahindra Roxor could potentially hurt sales of its Jeep models.
Mahindra responded by saying that FCA’s complaint has no merit since it has signed a design agreement with Chrysler Group LLC back in 2009 regarding the design of its SUVs.
To sum up the current situation, FCA says that the Indian media reports are falsely portraying specific findings in a post-hearing reply brief from Mahindra as either a final decision by the court or a strong indicator of the court siding with Mahindra. If a similar one-sided approach is applied to FCA’s post-hearing reply in some manner, then one could make exactly the opposite case. Anyways, the final decision regarding this issue is expected to be made within this month.