Chinese automaker Qoros can’t use the letter "Q" as part of the name of a new sedan intended for Europe and China after Audi was granted a temporary court injunction, according to a German newspaper. For the second half, Qoros aims to launch a compact sedan named the GQ3 in China. It’s set to launch in Europe towards the end of 2013.
Die Welt reported that Audi makes use of the letter "Q" for its SUVs and crossovers and had opposed the letter that shows up in the GQ3 name. According to the paper, Audi had been granted a court injunction on January 14 against Qoros in Hamburg's civil court. The injunction was confirmed by a court spokesman. Qoros is set to debut the GQ3 in March at the Geneva auto show. The compact will be displayed together with concepts that preview a crossover hatchback and a station wagon, which all use the same underpinnings.
Qoros is a partnership between Chery, a China-based automaker, and Israel Corporation, an investment firm.
Qoros said that Audi’s complaint had been a shock since the company had filed the GQ3 trademark at the European Trademark office and had given Audi a formal notification. When interviewed by Automotive News Europe, a Qoros spokesman said that GQ3 was an initial name for the sedan and has yet to be finalized, saying that Qoros will fight the court injunction "to keep its options open."
Qoros said that it will be selling China-assembled cars that meet Western safety, driving and comfort standards at inexpensive prices. The automaker didn’t reveal pricing. However, the GQ3 will go up against models like the Skoda Rapid. Several of Qoros’ most prominent employees were hired from Western car companies. These include design chief Gert Hildebrand, who used to be the head of styling at Mini, and deputy CEO Volker Steinwascher, previously the U.S. Volkswagen head.