Mahindra gets green light to sell restyled Roxor, FCA still battling
After a six-month sales ban, the newly redesigned Mahindra Roxor off-road side-by-side has received a green light from the International Trace Commission (ITC) to be sold once again in the United States. The ban was the result of a cease-and-desist letter sent by FCA to Mahindra, contesting that the Roxor infringed upon the intellectual property rights of Jeep—specifically, the Jeep Wrangler.
According to Reuters, the ITC decreed that post-2020 Roxor models have sufficient styling differences that the small off-roader no longer violates the “trade dress” of the Wrangler. The ITC is thus accepting an administrative law judge’s October recommendation that FCA’s cease-and-desist should not apply to the newer models. The Roxor was restyled for 2020 from its original design, but the approved design for 2021 and on has yet to be revealed.
“The ruling validates the redesign of the highly popular Roxor off-road vehicle,” said Mahindra in a statement release earlier this month. “Mahindra is now permitted to manufacture and distribute the redesigned 2021 Roxor.” FCA intends to appeal the new ruling, as indicated in a statement provided by an FCA spokesperson. “While FCA is disappointed with the Commission’s decision regarding the redesign, we believe we will be successful in appealing this decision.”
The Roxor is essentially a Mahindra Thar, the CJ-5-based vehicle that Mahindra builds and sells in India. The resemblance is undeniable, and we weren’t surprised when FCA won the right in court to pursue legal action against Roxor sales earlier this year. Although no images of the redesigned Roxor have been made available yet (Mahindra says the facelifted Roxor will be the subject of a future announcement), the online configurator for the 2021 Roxor shows what appears to be the new front end under a covered Roxor. The configurator is not currently running, but a notice on the site says that it will be back up once production of the 2021 vehicle resumes at Mahindra’s assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The upper grille line looks considerably wider now, stretching over the wheel arches instead of cascading down just inside of them. This is likely a key part of the changed design that allows Mahindra to sidestep the stop-sale order for 2020 and older models. We’ll keep an eye out for the official unveiling.