Audi beats Nio, who cannot use the names ES6, ES7 and ES8

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Germany China one to zero. This is a “home” success of Audi, which after a 15-month dispute (also extended due to the judge’s illness), was seen to be right by a court in Munich. The dispute was against the premium electric car manufacturer NIO, still involved in Formula E, a championship from which the house of the Four Rings withdrew.

Audi had objected to naming some models, especially the ES6, ES7 and ES8, too similar to the Ingolstadt S6, S7 and S8 variants. Also according to the court of the Bavarian capital the “E” is not enough to distinguish between the vehicles of the two manufacturers since it could induce potential customers (evidently considered rather distracted or inattentive) to consider the ES6, ES7 and ES8 the zero emission versions of the cars with the insignia of the Four Rings.

The sentence provides in Germany for the prohibition of any form of advertising relating to the ES6 and ES8. Any violations will be sanctioned with a fine of 250,000 euros or six months’ imprisonment for the manager of the German operations of the Celestial Empire builder. The lawsuit was filed by Audi in October 2021 and, after a series of hearings, the sentence was expected for the month of May, but was then postponed until today’s official announcement. While Audi naturally welcomed the outcome of the proceeding that “protects the brand”, NIO reserved the right to evaluate the reasons. But he made it known that, at least at present, “he is working to appeal” and “we reserve the right to take any further necessary action”.

The Chinese manufacturer itself had somehow anticipated the sentence: the ES7, the only model that can be ordered at the moment in Germany, has been offered since October as EL7.

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