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Jeep Moves Mahindra To Court In Australia – After New Thar Launch Teaser

Jeep Wrangler and New Mahindra Thar
File photo.

Mahindra Thar is currently priced between Rs 12.10 lakh to Rs 14.15 lakh (ex-showroom) in India

It appears Jeep and Mahindra are at loggerheads once again. The former’s parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has taken objection to Mahindra releasing a teaser advertisement of the second generation Thar in Australia. The teaser indicated that the Indian automaker might soon launch the compact off-roader down under.

The Italian-American manufacturer has filed a complaint against Mahindra in this regard at a Federal Court of Australia alleging that the design of new Thar’s infringes the former’s Wrangler. The Wrangler is itself considered as one of the best, if not the best, off-roaders in the global auto market.

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In its complaint, FCA stated that Thar’s design is very similar to Wrangler and demanded that Mahindra should not launch the Thar in Australia. If Mahindra still intends to do so, the company should give a 90-day notice period to FCA.

In reply to this, the Indian auto manufacturer has filed a response at the court which states that the company doesn’t have any plans to launch the current model of the Thar in Australia as of now. It has also agreed to furnish a 90-day notice period in case it intends to launch the new Thar in the country.

2020 Mahindra Thar Copycat Jeep Wrangler
Image for reference

The next date for a hearing is slated for May 20, 2021. A Mahindra spokesperson confirmed that M&M has no plans of launching the new-gen Thar in Australia or any other foreign markets considering the overwhelming demand for the SUV in India leading to an extended waiting period of up to 11 months. Mahindra continues to sell the older generation Thar in South Africa.

Earlier Dispute Between FCA & Mahindra

This hasn’t been the first time that Jeep and Mahindra have been at the opposite end of a courtroom. To refresh your memory, FCA had earlier filed a lawsuit against the Indian car company at a court in the USA. In this case, FCA demanded that the court completely ban Mahindra Roxor from the country. It is an off-roader based on the previous generation Thar which supposedly had a design resemblance with the iconic Jeep / Willys CJ series.

After redesigning a few elements of Roxor, Mahindra was allowed to continue retail of the offroader in the USA. Roxor is sold purely as a farming and all-terrain vehicle in North America. Back home, the second-gen Thar has been a raging success ever since it was launched back in October 2020.

Thar Engine, Transmission Options

The new Thar comes powered with two new powertrain options- a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel unit and a 2.2-litre mStallion turbocharged petrol mill. The former kicks out 130 bhp and 300 Nm of peak torque. Whereas the latter pushes out 150 bhp and 300 Nm (320 Nm in AT variants) of peak torque. Both engine options are offered with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. A 4×4 drivetrain with a low-range transfer case is offered as standard across the range.

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