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New Mahindra Thar to Not Enter Australian Market Amidst Legal Battle With Stellantis

Anand Mahindra Promises Thar SUVs for six players.

Anand Mahindra Promises Thar SUVs for six players.

More than 50, 000 units of the new Mahindra Thar have already been booked in India with the current waiting period stretching up to 11 months in several cities.

Mahindra Group has officially confirmed that it will not launch the all-new Thar in the Australian market in its current form as it is already seeing strong domestic demand and plans on meeting it. More than 50, 000 units have already been booked in India with the current waiting period stretching up to 11 months in several cities.

This move comes a few weeks after Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis Group, sued Mahindra & Mahindra in Australia after they imported one unit of the second-gen of Thar for testing purposes and also released a teaser video. Jeep moved a Australian court in the second week of May and alleged that the current Thar’s design is a copy of the Wrangler and is already on sale in the Australian market. It also accused the Indian carmaker of misleading prospective buyers. Mahindra had also set up a website to register prospective buyers of the SUV which must have added to the row. The website no longer exists.

Stellantis had asked Mahindra to give an undertaking that it will not launch the Thar in Australia. The first hearing of the case was scheduled for May 20. However, now with this step, the Indian SUV manufacturer has opted out of the legal tangle for good and confirmed that it will presently not import or sell the Thar in Australia.

In an official statement, Mahindra has further said in future whenever the company plans to launch the vehicle overseas, it will give a notice of 90 days to the FCA. The carmaker said in the future it will take steps in order to protect its rights to the market.

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According to the court’s undertaking, Mahindra was asked to give a 90-day notice period before launching its vehicle in the country. Earlier, the automaker had appealed for a 45 days notice, however, it later agreed for 90 days.

Jeep has welcomed Mahindra’s move which has helped the company to protect the “trademark” of its vehicle.

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first published:May 23, 2021, 11:24 IST