For more than a decade, the parent corporation of the Jeep brand has been fighting to prevent Mahindra from selling their Roxor in the United States based on the grounds that the Roxor is just a cheap copy of the legendary Jeep CJ – because it is a cheap copy of the legendary CJ. Starting in the 1950s and continuing through the 1980s, Mahindra built Willys and Jeeps under license for select foreign markets, but in the early 2000s, the Indian brand began eyeing the North American market for their cheap Jeep knock-offs.
Not surprisingly, when another company wanted to sell a cheap copy of a Jeep, then-parent corporation Fiat went to court and blocked Mahindra from selling the Roxor in the United States. Seeing as how that Roxor looked more or less identical to the CJ, it came as little surprise that the courts sided with Jeep, but for the 2020 model year, the Roxor got a facelift that made it a whole lot uglier – most notably removing the Jeep-like grille. We have included images of the pre- and post-facelift models below.
Evidently, that was enough for the U.S. court system to feel that it no longer looks like the CJ, as the government has approved Mahindra to sell their cheap knock-offs in the United States. Since the 2020-and-newer models don’t look like the 2019-and-older models, these newer models are approved by the government.
While this news is obviously frustrating to the folks at Jeep and Stellantis, the good news is that the Mahindra Roxor doesn’t pose any real risk to the brand’s current lineup. The Roxor does not meet U.S. safety standards, so it is not street legal and even if it was legal for road use, it wouldn’t be a very pleasant drive. With 62 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque, the top speed with the little diesel engine is around 55 miles per hour, so it will struggle to keep up on many roadways, which is why Mahindra markets is specifically as an off-road vehicle.