Citroen – Polestar trial: why all the cruelty?

The announcement fell last week: Citroën has not only maintained its accusation of plagiarism against Polestar in France, but is attacking the Swede at the European level. Because since 2020, and the start of the case, the Volvo subsidiary has been deployed everywhere on the Old Continent, with the exception of France due to these legal disputes, but it is still present in other markets where Citroën is also a part. , offends the manufacturer to complain.

This confrontation has occupied the attorneys for the two brands for four years now. A work that began in the spring of 2018, on the shores of Lake Geneva. That year, on the Polestar stand at the Geneva Motor Show, there was a wonderful hybrid coupe, the Polestar 1, which not only announced the launch of the new brand, but also revealed, on its network, the new brand. The logo that will now serve as the logo for this new manufacturer’s brand, which was previously only the sporting division of the Swedish company Volvo.

Polestar 1: The item that sparked the dispute.

But only a hundred meters from the Polestar stand stands another pavilion, this French one which, on its usual red background, displays another emblem, the chevron emblem, which is somewhat similar to the Swedish one. In this position, the man walks 100 steps. It’s Arno Belloni and he’s angry. Marketing and Communications Director, Head of Image Rafters Do not take off. In front of the journalists he meets, he breaks in, accuses Polestar and threatens to drag them to court. Which will be after a year.

Between Citroën and Polestar, it’s hard to go wrong

In 2022, Arnaud Belloni changes teams, he holds the same position at Renault, but the relationship continues without him, and therefore, since last week, includes the whole of Europe. Suddenly, one has the right to wonder why Citroën insists on the Polestar. Because after all, the French brand is somewhat generic, while the Swedish is overtly distinct. Admittedly, some of the graphic elements of the logos are similar, but the difference between the Polestar element (which is supposed to symbolize the Polar Star, from the brand name) and those of Citroën differ enough that no customer would get it wrong, assuming there is only one capable of hesitating. Between the small C3 Aircross at €18,850 and the Polestar 1 luxury coupe at €155,000. It is impossible to confuse one with the other except in the night of the northern fog,

We can find some similarities between Polestar 2...
We can find some similarities between Polestar 2…
... and the Citroën C4 X. But in this case, it was not the Swede who copied the French.
… and the Citroën C4 X. But in this case, it was not the Swede who copied the French.

So why spend hundreds of thousands of euros in these legal disputes? The game obviously consists of trying to prevent Polestar from deploying its cars in Europe, but, as we’ve said, its absence would change absolutely nothing for Citroën, which would not see its sales explode without the presence of the North Star.

Polestar never made it to France and yet the market shares of rafters never improved. Therefore, the real causes of this long-running affair must be sought elsewhere, in the Stellantis group of course, but also in European protectionism that does not speak in its name, and why not, in Sino-Chinese rivalries.

Will Citroen fight for the DS?

Because in the Stellantis Galaxy, there is another brand, for its part, that falls in the premium section, which also showcases electric ambitions and which also uses chevrons in its logo graphics (with the supposed complicity of Citroën, which it is emulating). This is a DS company, and its president, Béatrice Foucher, can’t take a dim look at this stick at the Polestar rims that the previous parent company launched. As for Europe itself, which for years has tried to curb the incursion of Chinese cars on its territory, it cannot but delight in doing what could somewhat thwart the extension of the Middle cars on its territory.

A battle between the Chinese?

Because, in addition to its Swedish passport, Polestar is already Chinese, because, like Volvo, it is owned by Geely Group. But he is not the only Chinese involved in this battle. Because for its part, Geely’s competitor, the huge Dongfeng is a shareholder of Stellantis. He intends to completely withdraw from the group by the end of the year, but he still weighed a certain amount when the decision to pursue a rival brand was made in 2019. There is no reason to oppose him.

Despite all these issues, these multiple interests and multiple support, is there a chance for the action taken by Citroen to succeed? Nothing less confident. Because justice has nothing to do with the Chinese, nor with the Stellants, nor with Europe. Chevron, real and unique, if we are to believe Citroën, has already been rejected twice by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIOP). But with the charcoal man’s faith, the brand persisted and took to the Brussels court which will hear its complaint at the beginning of the school year. Faith can move mountains, but it doesn’t necessarily hide impostors who knowingly borrowed the historic Citroën logo.

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