Hyundai Motor India has moved Delhi High Court opposing Mahindra Renault’s plan to launch a compact car in the country with the name ‘Sandero’, alleging that the latter was trying to cash in on its popular brand ’Santro’ with a similar sounding product.
However, the joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra and French carmaker Renault said it has applied to the high court for removing its name as defendant, as Renault is the owner of the ‘Sandero’ brand.
“They (Mahindra Renault) are planning to launch Sandero, which is very similar sounding to our Santro. Both are hatchbacks and Santro is an established trademark and they are trying to get mileage out of it,” a senior Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) official said.
HMIL has pleaded to the court not to allow launch of the car under the name Sandero in India, he added.
When contacted, Mahindra Renault Chief Executive Officer Nalin Mehta said, “We have filed a reply requesting the honorable court for removal of Mahindra Renault’s name as the defendant. Mahindra Renault does not have any ownership of the Sandero brand.”
The Sandero brand belongs to Renault, he said adding “we have no locus standi on the brand. Mahindra Renault Private Ltd has never used or promoted the brand.”
‘Santro’ is HMIL’s flagship brand and a total of over 15 lakh units have been sold both in the domestic and the overseas markets since its launch in September 1998.