Mercedes-Benz is in Dutch With China's Chery Over Its EQ Brand Name

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mercedes benz is in dutch with china s chery over its eq brand name

China’s Chery Automobile Company has filed a formal complaint against Daimler AG over is usage of “EQ” as designation for an upcoming lineup of Mercedes-Benz electric cars. That’s bad news for Benz, as China possesses the world’s largest EV marketplace and Daimler has already begun promoting its future electric lineup using the name.

The German automaker said last year that it would begin producing EQ models in Europe before the end of the decade, with the global sub-brand sold in both eastern and western markets. Unfortunately, Chery already has a fully electric minicar named the eQ that was launched in China in November of 2014. The car is based on the current Chery QQ, which was the centerpiece of a 2005 lawsuit from General Motors following claims that its design was stolen from the Daewoo Matiz and Chevrolet Spark.

A Chery spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday that the automaker has filed a complaint with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and hopes to prohibit Mercedes from using the name in China.

“If it entered the Chinese market, it would impact our trademark rights,” the Chery spokeswoman said. “Mercedes Benz EQ and our [eQ] are extremely similar. Their product is also an electric car.”

Mercedes’ released a written response later that same day stating that Daimler had filed all the applicable trademark applications regarding the EQ name with the relevant authorities — but declined to elaborate further.

China purchases more electric cars than the rest of the world combined, and there are loads of government initiatives for automakers and consumers to shift toward EVs in order to reduce air pollution. While a ruling in favor of Chery might not alter the EQ branding in the west, it would still be a massive hindrance to Mercedes’ marketing efforts in Asia and force it to reevaluate its overall approach.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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