• Jul 6th 2009 at 6:49PM
  • 7
A mix of good and bad news about the Detroit Electric revival story. The good news is that the brand remains alive and sending messages of solid partnership between Malaysian company Proton and European investors. Automotive News believes that the brand would have a large following among European and Asian customers for its all-electric vehicles. However, problems might arise in the U.S. when the company's EVs - a $25,000 model with a 110-mile range and a 200-mile version for $33,000 - go on sale here. The problem is that the Detroit Electrics will have nothing to do with Detroit except the name: the cars will be built in Malaysia, a fact that might be a problem for certain buyers. Also, the U.S. Patent Office has refused Detroit Electric's request for a trademark thus far because the company doesn't have any connection to Detroit. This could be a severe conflict with Detroit-based companies that already produce EVs: Ford, GM and even small companies such as Detroit Electric Vehicles LLC, which sells electric car kits and converts vehicles from gasoline to electric engines.

[Source: Automotive News (subs. req'd)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Detroit Electric Vehicles LLC, which sells electric car kits and converts vehicles from gasoline to electric engines. "

      That would probably be a killer infringement right there.

      I doubt that there's enough brand recognition left for the old Detroit Electric name after a century that it's really important to hang on to it anyway. There's a whole galaxy of fitting, better and more forward looking names available.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes it sounds quite old fashioned anyway so a new name would be much better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, if they infringe on an existiing company's brand name I see the point, but denying them registration for any other reson, i.e. "no connection to detroit" is retarded.

      Proton is a pretty good name, they should stick with that if it's not taken.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sheesh. Let's pick at a nit. They should simply use the original then: D'étroit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's being held up because of their name?? I didn't actually expect Capt. Kangaroo to be a captain OR a kangaroo but he got a show.

      If they can produce a 200mile EV for $33k QUIT TRYING TO STOP THEM! We need more on the road.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was going to say something along the lines of "One word. Meh," but now that you've made that point, well, good point!

        Then again, what's in a name? What's wrong with coming up with another name?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The function of trademarks is to avoid confusing customers and infringing on other companies rights. Agreed they should come up with a new name, better now than after production and marketing starts.
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