We don’t how many European or Korean, for that matter, carmakers would like to associate one of their top products with a Chinese brand, but Kia found itself in a legal battle with China’s Qoros over the name of its new rear-wheel drive flagship saloon, the Quoris, and it lost – at least in Europe and for the time being.
The Korean carmaker introduced the full-size luxury sedan in its home market as the K9, but in July this year, it announced that the export version would be named Quoris, which the company claims is derived from the English words ‘Core’ and ‘Quality’.
The only problem was that Shanghai-based Qoros Automobile Co., a new car brand created by China’s Chery Automobile Co. and Israeli investment firm Israel Corp., believed that the name was too close to its own, which it had already trademark in China, the U.S., the EU, and other regions around the world.
Qoros took Kia to court in Germany, and this week, the District Court in Hamburg granted the automaker’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the South Korean company and the use of the Quoris name in the European Union.
“We are pleased with the decision of the court as we succeeded in our first step towards protecting our brand name,” stated Volker Steinwascher, vice chairman of Qoros. “We look forward to the first public début of our vehicles at both the Geneva and the Shanghai auto show in 2013.”
The Korean carmaker has not yet released a statement on the matter, but it’s worth noting that Kia can appeal the preliminary decision if it wants.
It also remains to be seen if Qoros has plans to take Kia to court over the Quoris in other markets around the world.