Auto major Ford on Wednesday said it is unlikely to introduce a car as Splash, despite registering the brand in India that forced Suzuki to change its global hatchback with the same name to Ritz to sell in the country.
“We are not expected to use that name (Splash), because we are going to use global names as we move forward (in India),” said Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham. Ford had registered the name Splash with the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks Registry on August 16, 2002.
Later Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation also approached the trademarks authorities for introducing its fifth global model Splash in India through its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India (MSI). Suzuki had applied for the trademark registration on December 22, 2005, which was eventually withdrawn.
When asked, what the reason behind the company’s decision not to use Splash in India was, Boneham said: “What we intend to do is to use global names here, rather than specific names for one country.” He, however, declined to comment whether Ford India would withdraw the name from the authorities.
It was a setback for Suzuki with MSI saying at the time of launching Ritz that it could not bring in the car as Splash as it was already registered with an automobile company in India. Consequently, MSI launched the global car, presented as a concept car in Paris Motor Show in 2006, in India as Ritz last year.
MSI, the country’s largest car maker, manufactures both petrol and diesel versions of Ritz at its Gurgaon facility. The car, which has been developed on the existing platform of the hatchback Swift, has 85 per cent localisation in components.
Suzuki launched Splash in 2007. The car is manufactured in Hungary and Japan, and is sold in Japan and across all Europe.