Grey market vehicles often walk a fine line when it comes to their legality. However, that hasn't deterred some enthusiasts from snatching up a desirable vehicle from one market and moving it to another. These tactics hurt both the auto manufacturer and its dealer network, since grey market vehicles have no warranty coverage. Most automobile companies greatly dislike grey market importation since it increases competition for their own domestic product. They typically utilize every legal resource availabe to them (and they have plenty) to discourage the practice.
You can see where this is going by now. Since the Nissan GT-R is now on sale in Japan, there are some very impatient folks who do not want to wait for the car to hit their local showroom floors. Businesses in Europe and the UK are currently advertising imported JDM Nissan GT-Rs for sale. Nissan has issued a message that they intend to crack down on these businesses as this venture is a violation of trademark rights. It seems that some have already received paperwork from Nissan's lawyers. The automaker also wants to inform customers in the European Economic Area (EEA) that they have not consented to the sale of the GT-R by these individuals. JDM GT-Rs may not meet safety and emissions standards outside of Japan, so Nissan must detach themselves from any responsibility in case of uneducated buyers.
Hit the jump to view the full press release.
NISSAN TO ENFORCE TRADEMARK RIGHTS
Lawyers representing Nissan have written to a number of businesses regarding their vehicle importation activities.
The businesses in question are suspected of importing and/or offering for sale in the European Economic Area (EEA) Nissan vehicles originating from Japan and which are intended only for sale in Japan. The trademark owner, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, has not consented to the importation or sale of these vehicles into the EEA and either of these activities would infringe Nissan's trademark rights.
These businesses have been warned not to engage in these infringing activities and, if this is ignored, Nissan will seek the support of the English courts in enforcing its legitimate rights against those businesses.
The basis of this action is well established and has been confirmed in decisions of the European and English courts over a number of years. The action does not seek to prevent individual customers or businesses from buying Nissan vehicles intended for the UK or European markets.
Gary Frigo, Nissan Motor (GB) Limited's Managing Director, said: "We have been made aware of a significant increase in activity in the import trade of certain vehicles, particularly the Nissan GT-R, which warrants immediate action."
On the subject of the new Nissan GT-R Frigo explained further:
"Nissan's number one priority is to ensure that the GT-R and its dealer network are in optimal condition to facilitate and support our customers. It will take until start of sales in March 2009 to do this. Until that time the UK will have no GT-R trained technicians, no established GT-R parts supply and, most crucial of all, the GT-R will not be covered by a manufacturer's warranty."
Nissan remains committed to providing customers with the best possible vehicles, in terms of value and specification, within the context of the regulations for safety and emissions laid down by the UK and European governments.