Update 2: Feb-10-2011 7:17am
Ferrari appears to have changed its mind about the name of its latest F1 race car after threat of a lawsuit yesterday by Ford.
The Ferrari F150 is now being referred to as the Ferrari F150th Italia on a Ferrari website.
A statement from Ferrari read: "On the subject of the name of the new Ferrari Formula 1 car, the Maranello company wishes to point out that it has sent a letter of reply to Ford, underlining the fact that the F150 designation (used as the abbreviated version of the complete name, which is Ferrari F150th Italia) never has, nor ever will be used as the name of a commercially available product – indeed there will definitely not be a production run of single-seaters...Ferrari has decided to ensure that in all areas of operation, the abbreviated version will be replaced at all times with the full version, Ferrari F150 th Italia."
Ford filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a court for an injunction against Ferrari over the use of the F150 name for Ferrari's latest Formula 1 racecar, the automaker said.
"F-150® is an established and important Ford trademark and the name of the best-seller in Ford’s F-Series, America’s best-selling trucks for 34 years and best-selling vehicles for 29 years," Ford said in a statement Wednesday. "Through extensive sales and advertising and exclusive use, Ford has earned invaluable goodwill in the F-150® trademark. That hard-won goodwill is seriously threatened by Ferrari’s adoption of 'F150'."
Indeed, Ford claims, "when Ferrari announced the name of its race car as 'F150', Ford asked Ferrari to change the name. Ferrari did not respond in a timely manner, leaving Ford no choice but to take legal action to protect its important brand and trademark rights," the automaker said in a statement this afternoon.
The Italian sports car maker chose the F150 name to pay tribute to this year's 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, but it's also the well-known and longtime name of Ford's half-ton pickup truck, the best-selling vehicle in Ford's U.S. lineup.
We've asked Ferrari for comment, but have not yet heard back.
Editor's note: We've updated this post to reflect the filing of the lawsuit.