The Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra intended to bring to foreign markets the budget SUV Thar, suspiciously similar to the Jeep Wrangler of the CJ generation. However, the automaker abandoned these plans, and not under the onslaught of Jeep lawyers and the Stellantis concern, as one might assume, but for another reason.
According to The Economic Times, Mahindra & Mahindra explained its decision by the fact that the Thar model “is in very high demand in the Indian market,” and this is why the automaker associates its refusal to enter other markets, including the Australian one.
Earlier in May, it was reported that Mahindra was preparing to start selling Thar in Australia, and the brand allegedly even launched a certification process and an advertising campaign. Jeep, which has claims against the Indian company over the SUV design due to the Wrangler’s similarity, has taken to a local court to uphold its patent rights.
A Mahindra & Mahindra spokesman called Jeep’s lawsuit “pointless” at this stage.
“When we decide to launch Thar in Australia, we will give Stellatnis 90 days notice and take steps to protect our rights to market and sell the vehicle,” he said. It clarifies that Jeep withdrew the claim as a result.
Previously, Jeep had already managed to get a ban on the sale of an Indian SUV with a controversial design in the United States – then the Mahindra Roxor model became the object of the dispute. After losing in court, Mahindra & Mahindra promised to update the car and change its appearance, and so Thar was born. However, this did not solve the problems with Jeep’s lawyers.