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        Why Maruti Splash became Ritz in India

        Satish Kalepu

        Satish Kalepu

        Ever wonder why Maruti Ritz is sold as a different brand name worldwide? Suzuki sells its new hatchback model as Maruti Ritz in India and as Suzuki Splash in the rest of the world. This is because Ford Motor Company has registered the brand name “Splash” with the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks Registry since August 16, 2002.

        When Maruti intended to launch Splash in the Indian market, it had to quietly withdraw its application on December 22, 2005 to register the brand name in India. At the time of the launch MSI official had stated that it was unfortunate that the company cannot bring the car as the same brand name as available worldwide because it was already registered with “another automobile company.”

        However, when Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham was approached on the issue, he stated, “We had registered Splash long time ago ... There is nothing specific about Splash at this moment. In the future we may or may not launch a product, named Splash."

        So now you know how Splash got changed to Ritz! What we still don’t know is that will Ford’s new small car will come as Splash! Seems unlikely?