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Car & Driver has published a piece by German contributor Jens Meiners revealing a legal battle that has begun between Audi and the startup Chinese car brand Qoros – a joint venture between Chery and Israel Corporation. the company plans a launch at Geneva and intends to use the letter Q prominently in its model designations, including the GQ3 sedan confirmed for the Swiss motor show.
According to Meiners, Audi has filed in a German court against the brand’s use of the letter and has even won the first round in a regional court in Hamburg Germany. Meiners goes on, “Curiously, Audi does not seem to care about Infiniti’s recent move to badge its entire future lineup with the letter Q followed by some numbers.”
When an official Audi response to an inquiry on the subject was met with an answer suggesting there was no problem with Infiniti, the Car & Driver scribe went on to ask, “What, no problem with Infiniti Q50, but a problem with the Qoros GQ3?”
We suspect the answer actually has more to do with the previous legal agreement between Infiniti and Audi. Remember when the Audi Q7 launched? Audi paid homage to their ‘quattro’ heritage by adopting the letter for its planned range of crossovers and at the time Infiniti wasn’t terribly happy about the move given they had a sedan of their own that used the letter with their Q45 sedan.
At the time, Audi and Infiniti came to a legal agreement whereby both could operate. A consensus was reached then and likely expansion of Audi’s own through models like SQ5 and RS Q3 and Infiniti’s own aforementioned re-naming strategy have likely loosened the gentlemen’s agreement between the two established luxury marques. Qoros, on the other hand, is new to the game and yet another badge trying to lay claim to the letter. Likely neither Audi nor Infiniti cares to see that happen.
Read more after the jump at Car & Driver.