Fiat Chrysler Automobiles( F.C.A ) that owns the Jeep brand, has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Indian Automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra for allegedly design infringement. FCA alleges that the Mahindra Thar’s design Is uncannily similar to its iconic off-roader Jeep Wrangler.
Mahindra has already been blocked from selling current generation Thar in the US. Now Jeep is attempting to stop Mahindra’s off-roading SUV from being sold in Australia as they believe that it might pull down the sales of Wrangler.
Mahindra has already received over 50,000 bookings for the second-gen Thar in India, and the waiting period is said to stretch as a full year in some cities. The company is also said to be working on a bigger, five-door model, which will again look similar to the five-door version of the Jeep Wrangler.
Why Mahindra Thar looks similar to Jeep Wrangler ?
The second-gen Thar is an evolution of the original Thar which itself was based on the design of the Jeep CJ of the 1960s, and Willys CJ of the 1940s. Mahindra was granted a license in 1947 to use the Jeep and CJ trademarks. Over time, the vehicles were localized and sold in India. The body design and a significant portion of its mechanical architecture remain largely untouched. This marked Mahindra as a manufacturer of off-roader SUVs in India and the neighboring countries.That’s why Thar is visibly similar to the Wrangler.
F.C.A now demanding that Mahindra should not launch the Thar in Australia and should give a 90-day notice if it intends to do so. In response to Jeep’s lawsuit, Mahindra has clearly said there are no plans to Introduce Thar in Australia at this time as and Mahindra will provide the above said notice to FCA if they are going to launch any future model of the Thar in Australia.