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Renault wins Zoe name battle

2010-11-12 10:00
French automaker  Renault will keep the name Zoe for its future small electric car after a judge ruled that girls named Zoe did not face imminent harm or a threat to their private life or dignity.

Lawyer David Koubbi had brought a case against the company's choice of name on behalf of all Zoes and two Zoe Renaults in particular, and said on Wednesday he would appeal, Le Figaro said in an article on its website.

Zoe (pronounced Zo-ee) is Greek for 'life'.

"For my clients, it would be intolerable to hear 'the Zoe has broken down' or indeed 'he or she killed herself in a Zoe'," Koubbi had written in a letter to Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn.


In the letter, which was published on the website of ADNP -- a French association for the defence of given names - Koubbi said he was already hearing reports from his clients of the teasing girls called Zoe were taking at schools.

Zoe is the 11th most popular given name in France according to L'Officiel des Prenoms -- a list of the most popular names given each year.

The compact Zoe electric car - whose Z and E stand for Zero Emissions - is due to go on sale in 2012 as part of a big push toward electric vehicles by Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan.

The partners are jointly investing four-billion euros in electric vehicles.

Nissan's Leaf hatchback is due to arrive in some European markets early in 2011 and Renault's first two electric models, the Fluence and the Kangoo, will go on sale in Septembe, 2010.


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