When Mahindra launched the all-new Thar back in 2020, it managed to grab all the headlines and continues to do so. It received a refreshed design, new powertrains and more features. One thing which caught everyone’s eye was the design that made the new Thar look like a desi version of the Jeep Wrangler. Both the vehicles are acclaimed off-roaders and now are a part of a legal battle.
Mahindra and Mahindra has put off its plans to launch the Thar SUV down under after US-based carmaker Fiat Chrysler, which owns the Jeep brand, decided to move to the court in Australia.
Stellantis released the following statement regarding the legal battle with Mahindra; “FCA US LLC and FCA Australia Pty Ltd. (FCA), both wholly-owned subsidiaries of Stellantis N.V, have requested that Mahindra immediately cease and desist from all activities related to the import, distribution and sale of the Thar product in Australia. FCA firmly believes that Mahindra is seeking to intentionally infringe the intellectual property rights of our Jeep brand, specifically the Jeep Wrangler. FCA will pursue all available avenues to stop Mahindra from continuing to make misleading and deceptive representations in relation to our Jeep brand, pass off their Thar as a Jeep Wrangler and infringe our design rights.”
Mahindra issued a statement that read, “We have filed our reply in the proceeding commenced by FCA against us. There are no plans to launch the current model of the Thar in Australia. We would provide adequate notice to FCA, as is requested, if we were to launch any future model of the Thar in Australia.”
The teaser image has since been removed from Mahindra’s Australian website. The Indian automaker is adamant that it has no intentions to launch the Thar in the Australian market currently. This new dispute in Australia comes in less than a year since Mahindra & Mahindra won the legal battle in the US over the Jeep Trade Dress regarding the 2021 Roxor off-road vehicle.