VW fights for Lupo name
Designing, producing and selling a car is only part of the challenge facing today's carmakers. They must also find a name for it.
Volkswagen is currently waiting to see if a Milan court will allow it to use the Lupo name in Italy for its new small car. Fiat claims it has the rights to the Lupo name, which means 'wolf' in Italian.
Last month it launched a special edition of its Fiorino commercial vehicle called the Lupo.
Earlier this year, Fiat allowed VW to use the Bora title for the Vento replacement. Bora, the name of a wind in north-east Italy, was originally used in 1971 on the first mid-engined production Maserati.
Threat to parallel imports
FIRST IT WAS jeans. Then it was sunglasses. Now it's motorcycles.
Honda has started legal proceedings in the UK against unofficial dealers selling cheap imported Honda motorcycles. Honda has been encouraged by recent rulings against UK supermarkets selling Levi jeans and Silhouette sunglasses imported from outside the EU.
Honda's action is aimed at stopping a trade that accounts for 25 percent of the UK motorcycle market. It wants dealers to surrender their stock and disclose their sources.
If Honda is successful, then parallel imports of cars could also be affected. The UK government may be forced to abandon plans to open up franchised car dealer networks to competition from unofficial importers.
Fiat under fire in Turkey
The row between Turkey and Italy over the extradition of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan is being closely monitored by Fiat Auto.
Turkish consumers are starting to boycott Italian products, and many independent garages are refusing to repair Italian cars. Fiat's Turkish joint venture Tofas is said to have lost 1,000 orders from companies and government departments.
'We are concerned that the problem will spread,' said a Tofas official.
Customers in Fiat-Tofas dealerships are a rare sight these days, and new Fiats have been set on fire in parking lots.
If the situation gets any worse, Turks who drive Italian cars will soon be traveling by train, bus, taxi - or using simple shoe leather.