|March 26, 2005
Audi Sued by Nissan Over Q
Nissan North America Inc. has taken Audi of America Inc. to federal court in Detroit, suing over the use of the letter Q as part of the names of its new SUV's. The larger and first of the two planned sports utility vehicles will be named the Q7, and will be followed in a few years by a smaller Q5 variant.
Nissan, meanwhile, already has been using the letter Q in its luxury Infiniti brand since its launch in 1989. Infiniti started with the Q45 and has also trademarked QX45, Qx4 and "the new Q." Nissan sees the desginations as too similar and says that Audi's use of the Q "is likely to cause confusion, deception or mistake among customers," according to a report in The Detroit News.
When the Q7 was announced there were many who made the easy name comparison to the Nissan Q lineup, although the Q nomenclature does have a strong tie in to Audi's legendary quattro all wheel drive. Up until the Q7 name was revealed there was rampant speculation that Audi would use A7 and A5 for its SUV's instead.
Audi public relations had no official comment while Audi reviewed the lawsuit, however one Audi official stated off the record that the lawsuit would be defended vigorously. "Audi is quite commited to the new Q vehicles," he said.