Nio changes name of eSUV to avoid conflict with Audi
Nio has changed the name of its electric SUV ES7 in Europe to EL7 right at the last minute before the European market launch in Berlin today. The young and rather successful Chinese company has made the quick change in order to avoid a protracted dispute with German luxury carmaker Audi.
On Nio websites in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, the model is already listed as EL7 – next to the two sedans ET5 and ET7. On Nio’s global website, the electric SUV is still referred to as the ES7 – while the company also still has models called the ES6, ES8 and EC6.
In June, Audi filed a lawsuit against Nio at a Munich court for infringement of trademark rights. Audi considered Nio’s model names such as ES6 and ES8 to be too similar to its own models, the S6 and S8. In September, Audi complained to the EU Intellectual Property Office about the designation of the ES7 in Europe because of its similarity to the Audi S7.
In the meantime, Nio has confirmed the background of the name change in essence. The Chinese electric carmaker has said that in view of the potentially protracted legal dispute and in order not to prejudice the interests of customers in Europe, the company has decided that it will now use the model name EL7 in Europe.
The name change comes at the last minute, right before Nio celebrates its European market launch event in Berlin where the company is presenting the ET5, ET7 and EL7. Now Audi has little to complain about except the added competition as this fresh young electric carmaker hits European markets.