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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

US carmakers get a grilling in India

According to today's Economic Times, the dispute between Indian manufacturers Mahindra & Mahindra and US carmaker Chrysler over the grille of M&M's Scorpio is not regarded by the Indian company as anything too serious. Says M&M's Managing Director Anand Mahindra reassuringly, "We are sorting it out". Chrysler is very unhappy that, in its view, M&M has copied a grille design that is normally associated with its Jeep, and for which trade mark registrations have been granted in many countries (plus the European Union). Pundits believe that M&M will be made to redesign the grille, since Chrysler has made no secret of its desire to make its presence felt in emerging markets like India and China [particularly, says Merpel, since people seem to have stopped buying them in any quantity in some of their formerly lucrative markets] .

Meanwhile, today's Hindu Business Line makes it plain that M&M doesn't think too much of General Motors either. The site reports:

"Mahindra has made it clear that the company is not interested in buying Hummer, the SUV brand of the US automaker General Motors. “There has been a lot of speculation. I am saying categorically that we are not pursuing Hummer. At the Auto Expo, we have showcased our strength as green warriors and we don’t want to tarnish our image,” he said, alluding to the gas guzzler image of Hummer".

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