Mercedes-Benz inaugurated its EQ sub-brand of electric vehicles at last year’s Paris Motor Show with the Generation EQ concept. An extensive family of EVs is currently in the works and prototypes using GLC bodies are already being tested on public roads. Parent company Daimler wants to sell these cars all over the world, but it might have a problem using the 'EQ' name in China – because Chery Automobile has recently filed a trademark complaint against Mercedes regarding the use of EQ.
Why? Because Chery has been selling a full-electric city car called eQ since late 2014. Speaking with Reuters, a Chery spokeswoman said: “If it entered the Chinese market, it would impact our trademark rights”.
A spokeswoman for Mercedes said the firm has sent the necessary paperwork to the relevant authorities in China to register the EQ nameplate, but did not discuss the clash with Chery’s borderline identical label.
It remains to be seen how the dispute between the two companies will be solved, but Mercedes will always have the option of changing the names of the China-bound cars. It is a key market for EV manufacturers, as more electric vehicles are sold in China than the rest of the world put together. With the local government’s green push in a bid to fight worryingly high pollution levels, local sales of zero-emissions cars are expected to boom in years to come.
Mercedes will introduce the first EQ-branded model towards the end of the decade; it will be followed by nine other full EVs by 2025. All of them will ride on a newly developed modular platform as part of a massive €10 billion investment in EV tech.