Crain News Service report
DETROIT (June 11, 2014) — Elon Musk says he wanted to name Tesla’s planned third model, a compact, battery-powered sedan, the Model E. Why?
Mr. Musk explained to CNNMoney: “A friend asked me at a party, ‘What are you going to name the third-generation car?’ Well, we have the S and the X, so we might as well make it the E.”
Only Ford Motor Co. got wind of the idea and called him, saying it would sue Tesla for using Ford’s Model E trademark.
“And we’re like, Ford’s killing SEX ... that’s terrible,” Mr. Musk said. “So, OK, fine, we won’t use the Model E.”
Ford never built a vehicle with the Model E name, but it has sued to keep other auto makers from using it, saying that Model E sounds too much like Model T.
A Ford spokesman told CNNMoney: “Ford and Tesla entered into a contract in 2010 in which, among other things, Tesla agreed not to register or use Model E. When Tesla later sought to register the Model E trademark, Ford insisted that Tesla abide by the parties’ earlier agreement. The matter has been resolved amicably.”
This report appeared on autonews.com, the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.