China-Based Chery Files Trademark Complaint Over Mercedes “EQ” Name

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The China-based auto manufacturer Chery Automobile Company has filed a complaint with the local trademark regulator pertaining to the use of the “EQ” name by Mercedes-Benz for its upcoming line of electric vehicles, according to recent reports.

As confirmed by a Chery spokesperson to Reuters, the complaint was filed with China’s Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, with the stated intent being to block Daimler from using the EQ lineup name in China.

As a reminder of why this matters, China is now the largest auto market in the world, and Daimler has been making a large amount of money in the market in recent years (something that I’m skeptical will continue long term).

The spokesperson for Chery noted that that company has already used the name “eQ” for its 2-door electric car model for many years now.

Reuters provides more: “Mercedes showed off a concept car for its forthcoming line of electric vehicles last year, saying it would build its first EQ car in a German factory by the end of the decade. The automaker said last year it could make EQ in China but did not give a launch date.

“A Mercedes spokeswoman said in a written statement late on Thursday that the company had filed trademark applications regarding EQ with relevant authorities, but did not have further information.”

To build on the earlier comment about China now being the world’s largest auto market, the electric vehicle market there is actually larger than the rest of world’s market combined. So, understandably, Chery doesn’t want Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) to enter the market with a model sharing the same name.

Not familiar with the Chery brand? Well, it’s actually a pretty big one in China. The eQ is not a blockbuster, but it does routinely land a slot on the country’s top 20 list. It was #15 last month and #8 for 2016 as a whole. If you compare to European sales, its 2016 sales would put it between the #4 BMW i3 and #3 Nissan LEAF. Similarly, the Chery eQ’s 2016 sales in China, compared to US electric car sales for the same period, would put it between the #4 Ford Fusion Energi and #3 Tesla Model X.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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