A noted car designer is suing luxury automaker Aston Martin claiming the company issued threats against him related to his entry into the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. The auto show kicks off next week.
Henrik Fisker, who is a famed figure in the business, claims in the $100 million suit (around Rs 650 cr) — filed in a federal district court in California — that Aston Martin issued a threatening letter demanding that he not unveil his Force 1 supercar concept this month in Detroit due to design similarities with one of Aston’s vehicles.
Aston Martin’s letter to Fisker, which was included in the suit, makes the claim based upon a single pen-on-paper sketch of the concept released last month ahead of the release. It compares Fisker’s design to their own DB10, ‘James Bond Car’, a oneoff featured in the film Spectre, released last year.
Aston Martin sued for $100 million over alleged plagiarism claims
The letter asks Fisker for written assurance that the design that will be revealed has changed from the original sketch and states that, “Aston Martin will not hesitate to protect its valuable rights if necessary.”
Henrik Fisker designed several of Aston Martin’s current models, including the V8 Vantage and DB9, when he worked for the brand from 2001 to 2004, as per the lawsuit.
His new ‘Force 1’ concept demonstrates a possible production model that could potentially produce 745 horsepower and cost $3,00,000.
Aston Martin’s letter includes commentary made by various automotive publications and blogs that noted similarities between the Fisker design sketch and several Aston Martin models.
Fisker’s suit addresses the specific design similarities claimed in the letter by providing examples of other available cars of the same type that they believe share the same features: Jaguar’s F-Type Coupe and the Chevrolet C7 Corvette.
Both Aston Martin and Fisker Automotive have had financial trouble in recent years. Aston Martin ended 2014 with an over $105 million deficit and Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy that year.
This is also not the first legal battle over design similarities for Fisker. After his involvement in the initial design phase of Tesla Model S Sedan, the electric car firm filed a suit in 2008 against Fisker claiming that he had copied some of the company’s technological innovations for his own model, Karma.
An arbitrator eventually ruled in favour of Fisker, and t he company was awa rded an undisclosed amount. Aston Martin didn’t comment on the latest developments.