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2016 Detroit Motor Show: Fisker sues Aston Martin for $100m

By Damion Smy, 05 Jan 2016 Events

2016 Detroit Motor Show: Fisker sues Aston Martin for $100m

British car-maker’s attempt to block Detroit show car sees it in court with former employee

HENRIK Fisker is suing Aston Martin for $US100 million as he claims that the British car is attempting to lock his Force 1 concept car out of the 2016 Detroit Motor Show.

Fisker, who worked as a designer for Aston Martin until 2004, where he designed for the current-generation Vantage and DB9 models, has filed a civil extortion law suit in the District Court of California.

Now head of Henrik Fisker Design, Fisker says that the British carmaker claimed the Force 1 was strikingly similar to the Aston Martin DB10 (pictured below) produced for the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre. That’s despite the fact that the DB10 is not a production model, and that the observations are based on a single sketch that reveals only basic overall proportions of Fisker’s Detroit show car.


Acting on behalf of Aston Martin, lawyer David Kelly sent Fisker Automotive a letter on December 23 stating that the Force 1 is, “of concern to Aston Martin because it is strikingly similar to several of Aston Martin’s cars, including the DB10”.

Kelly’s letter goes on to cite examples in the motoring media that suggest the Fisker’s design bears a strong resemblance to various Aston Martin models, before a call to action from Fisker.

“Please provide written assurances immediately that Fisker will either [1] not show or display the version of the Force 1 vehicle shown in the above sketch (in any form, including prototypes and sketches) at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show starting on January 11 or [2] will make design changes to the Force 1 vehicle before that show to avoid conflict with Aston Martin's rights.


“As Fisker knows, Aston Martin will not hesitate to protect its valuable rights if necessary.”

In response, Fisker is suing Aston boss Andy Palmer, its marketing and communications manager Simon Sproule and the man who replace Fisker as Aston’s chief designer, Marek Reichman.

The law suit claims that Aston Martin has “conspired and devised a scheme to stomp out Henrik Fisker’s competitive presence in the luxury sports car industry”. Fisker is suing for “no less than $USD100m” in addition to punitive damages.

While disputing that the Force 1 infringed on any of Aston Martin’s intellectual property, Fisker pointed to the Jaguar F-Type as well as the C7 Chevrolet Corvette as examples of sports car proportions similar to Aston Martin’s, but were not contested by the British car maker.