The current legal fight centered on the design of the off-road icon has carried on indefinitely, just like the conflict that led to the development of the original Jeep. But now that it's gone, there will be street parties—but only in the neighbourhoods where Mahindra executives and dealers live.
This week's earlier effort to prevent Mahindra & Mahindra from marketing its basic Roxor SUV in the United States ended in defeat for Stellantis' Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. division. By claiming that the Roxor was an obvious imitation of its iconic Jeep, FCA had urged the court to impose a "safe distance rule" and halt Mahindra's sales. However, according to a decision by the Eastern Court of Michigan, Mahindra Automotive North America was allowed to keep selling its SUV in the area.
In 2019, a year after the Roxor debuted in the U.S. and Canada, Trade Judge Cameron Elliot ruled that the Roxor violated Jeep's trade dress because it resembled the vehicle too much. He suggested that Mahindra be prohibited from selling the SUV in the United States, which the International Trade Commission (ITC) did in June 2020.
But a few months before that order, Mahindra modified the Roxor with a new face that resembled the front end of a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 more than the nose of a vintage Jeep CJ. Since then, the manufacturer has changed the design once again, and the final product now resembles a generic CJ in the GTA, but not a clone.
Mahindra said in court that the 2018–19 models, which were the subject of the initial lawsuit, were no longer in production and that the 2020–on versions had distinctive enough styling to prevent confusion with Jeeps. Following this week's ruling, Mahindra is now again allowed to continue producing the military-style off-roader at its site in Auburn Hills, Michigan and marketing it across the nation, as the ITC determined in December 2020 that the modified Roxor did not violate Jeep's rights.
Judges have determined that the Roxor no longer resembles a vintage WWII Jeep, but it still functions as one. The Mahindra's 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated diesel engine only produces 62 horsepower (63 PS), 144 lb-ft (195 Nm), and 55 mph (88 km/h) of peak speed.