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Fiat Chrysler hopes to block Jeep-ish Mahindra Roxor from US

FCA claims this street-illegal off-roader is just a copy of early Jeep designs, which isn't entirely wrong.

It's very difficult to wave away criticism that the Roxor takes a great deal (or all) of its inspiration from vintage Jeep products.

The Mahindra Roxor looks to be a pretty rockin' little off-roader, but its appearance might prevent it from coming to the US at all.

Fiat Chrysler has filed a complaint against Mahindra with the US International Trade Commission, Bloomberg reports. The complaint attempts to prevent Mahindra from importing and selling its Roxor off-road vehicle in the US.

Why would FCA ask for this? The answer is pretty simple -- the automaker believes the Roxor is a rip-off of its classic Jeep design. It doesn't take more than a single eye to realize that FCA's complaint does have some standing. To give you an idea of the similarities, check out Jalopnik editor David Tracy's excellent story comparing the Roxor to his 1948 Willys CJ-2A. They're pretty darn close.

Fiat Chrysler claims that the Roxor undersells Jeep's own products in the US and that allowing Mahindra to sell it in this country would "harm FCA's goodwill and business," the complaint alleges. The Roxor would be assembled largely at a factory in India before being shipped in incomplete form to the Detroit area, where assembly would be completed.

Unlike all of Jeep's current products, the Roxor is not actually road legal. It's part of the "side-by-side" segment of off-roaders, joining similar products from Polaris, Arctic Cat and others. That distinction could help Mahindra escape a ban, as there's no direct overlap between the Roxor and Jeep's products, but FCA's points are still valid from a design standpoint. Mahindra did not return a request for comment.