Volkswagen fails to protect its GTI brand against Suzuki

Article by Christian A., on March 23, 2012

The EU's General Court ruled that a trademark for Swift GTi granted to Suzuki Motor Corp. can’t be overturned by Volkswagen Group. The European Union's Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market had granted that trademark. In a statement, the Luxembourg-based court said that this trademark and the earlier trademarks 'GTI' held by Volkswagen aren’t likely to be confused with each other.

Eric Felber, a spokesman for Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, said that Volkswagen will review the ruling and will think about whether it will file an appeal to the EU Court of Justice, the highest court in the region.

In an e-mail, Felber said that the automaker’s German rights to the GTI trademark won’t be affected by the ruling. In a separate issue, arbitration is ongoing between VW and Suzuki over a dispute related to 2009 cooperation agreement. Suzuki wants to compel VW to sell back its 19.9% stake in Suzuki.

Volkswagen is bringing back its Golf GTI in 2004, and it is more powerful than ever before. Between the first-generation’s debut and the fifth generation’s production runout, more than 1.7 million customers had made the GTI a worldwide bestseller. Now, the Golf GTI is followed up by its sixth generation, which is even sharper and more confident than its previous models. This new GTI has chassis systems that have electronic transverse differential lock and that redefine behavior in traction and curves.

The new GTI is 240-km/h fast and offers more driving fun with its exceptional 155 kW/210 PS turbo engine while consuming only 7.3 liters of super unleaded (representing a 0.7 l/100 km improvement). This GTI delivers audible dynamics with its sound generator. It also delivers a new exhaust system design, complete with two tailpipes, one on each side. Moreover, it successfully transfers the original version’s tradition to the future.

Additionally, Hans-Joachim Stuck is more than a mere Volkswagen Motorsports figurehead and more than just an expert who looks for vehicle weaknesses. Stuck, whom friends fondly call "Strietzel," is a GTI fan. According to him, they always had a GTI car in their family, from the first generation to the sixth generation, as well as the Pirelli Editions. Even when he was still under contract with BMW, he preferred to drive a GTI to the Nürburgring. He drove and distracted 911 drivers on the North Loop in a GTI. His wife was also driving a GTI when she caught his attention.

As for the VW Golf GTI generation VI, fascination for Stuck started once again with its engine. It is very important that the current GTI be another turbo, making this boosted high-tech engine perfectly fit in with our times. The turbo engine is more fuel efficient compared with any other large displacement engine, yet, it is just as athletic, thanks to the turbocharger.

Topics: vw, gti, suzuki

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