|Mamma mia! Legendary automaker sues local firm|
|Cassandra Kyle, The StarPhoenix
Published: Saturday, March 08, 2008
Italian luxury car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini is suing a Saskatoon replica car company, claiming the local business used trademarked logos and created counterfeit imitations of one of its famous cars.
We probably sell a quarter of what we used to do now, so it's slowed down a lot, and I think a lot of it had to do with when the U.S. dollar dropped right down to nothing," Klassen said.
NAERC's kits cost between $59,000 and $79,000 each, he explained. The company, which won a Good Manufacturing Practices award at the Knotts Berry Farm Kit Car Show in April 2007, according to its website, also sells individual parts for car modifications. To build a replica Lamborghini, a custom-made chassis or a Pontiac Fiero is required as a base, Klassen said.
Kits include reproductions of Lamborghini logos, Klassen confirmed. Replica vehicles are almost identical to the real deal.
"For most people, no, they can't tell the difference, there's a few people who are Lamborghini enthusiasts who can spot things out, but for the most part it's pretty close," he said, adding people make the cars as a hobby.
"It's more for people wanting to show off what they built and what people's skills are. A lot of people will say, 'Oh, it's a kit car, big deal,' but the amount of time and money that goes into building these cars -- it's more for that person themselves building it."
Klassen adds he doesn't expect a positive outcome for his company in court.
"It's pretty much a losing battle," he said. "I'm sure we'll come to agreement, whether they want us simply to shut down and we'll call it even-type thing."
NAERC's owner, Ken Esler, did not respond to calls Friday.
The kit car company has not yet filed a statement of defence. A court date has not been set. firstname.lastname@example.org
© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008