Entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin says he will work with China's Chery Automobile Co. to make the Chery name a trademark in the United States despite opposition from General Motors.
GM's lawyers have told Bricklin, founder of Visionary Vehicles LLC, that the company will fight his plan to use the Chery brand name in the United States because it sounds too much like "Chevy."
Visionary Vehicles is trying to create a U.S. dealership network to sell Chery's Chinese-built cars.
"Chevy is synonymous with General Motors and Chevrolet in the minds of consumers," says GM spokeswoman Geri Lama.
"GM will continue to oppose the use of the name Chery in the United States because it is too close to Chevy."
Bricklin says he hasn't decided if he will use the Chery name for the Chinese-built vehicles he says he will sell here starting in 2007.
But he wants to keep that option open, and he appears willing to pick a fight with GM.
"General Motors must resort to unfounded legal attacks to make up for their declining sales and unimaginative product line," Bricklin said in a written statement.
Meanwhile, Bricklin says he expects to sign 50 Visionary Vehicle dealers this month and 50 more each month through September.
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