It’s not the first for Mahindra, but Jeep seems unwavering when it comes to raking in money on their iconic and patented design. Under the newly formed group Stellantis, the brand has moved to the Federal Court of Australia with the intention of preventing the new Thar’s launch in the kangaroo continent. And while Mahindra has denied any such intentions, Jeep has instructed for a 90-day notice if there are change of plans.
Mahindra might have denied the intentions but interestingly, pictures of the all-new Thar being tested on the Australian motorway have surfaced online. Also, reports suggest that the brand was ‘registering interest’ on their website for the all-new Thar.
There is no denying that the resemblance of Thar’s design is a bit too much for Jeep’s comfort. This was the talk of the town; the point of discussion when the Thar was first showcased last year. Some angles, some elements are almost identical to the Jeep Wrangler. In a slightly lesser size and quality of course. The Wrangler is the real deal, one that benefits from the design patents that Jeep holds.
And if you aren’t familiar already, FCA (now Stellantis) had earlier appealed to the United States International Trade Commission with the intent of stopping the sale of Mahindra’s non-highway utility vehicle, the Roxor. This compelled Mahindra to go back to their drawing boards and come up with a design that doesn’t infringe the I.P rights of FCA’s Jeep brand.
Will Mahindra be revisiting their drawing boards to challenge Jeep in another tussle? The Thar sure is a capable machine; an inexpensive lifestyle off-roader that lets you explore further. Its dependency on Jeep’s iconic design might be the reason for its success in India, with waiting period extending to eight months in some cities, but it’s also the reason that keeps bringing their product back in the headlines. And not always for the right reason.