Ford Trademarks Skyline Name For Use In The USA

The legendary Skyline name that is synonymous with Nissan could well soon be seen on a Ford. 

Whenever the word Skyline is mentioned in the automotive sense, it is typically in the context of a Nissan. 

The Skyline moniker is one of Nissan’s longest running model nameplate after all, being in continuous use by the Japanese automaker since from a time when they were still known as the Prince Motor Company. Not to mention too that it is the word that comes before the letters G,T and R on the marque’s much revered sports car. 

Despite its entrenched links to Nissan however, the Skyline name might soon find itself on something entirely different soon. That is because for some strange reason that no one has yet been able to work out, Ford has recently applied (and was approved for) the trademark of the Skyline name for use in the United States. 

To add further intrigue on this topic too, the American auto giant’s trademark is explicitly under the category of “Motor land vehicles, namely, SUVs, trucks and automobiles”. Meaning that there could well be a Ford badged Skyline model to debut sometime in the future. 

Now before any JDM fanboys start hyperventilating however, it is worth pointing out first and foremost that Nissan still retains the trademark to the Skyline name in Japan. The Japanese automaker has reiterated that this iconic name will still around on its cars for the foreseeable future too, refuting rumours swirling recently about its imminent demise after production the outgoing 13th iteration sedan comes to an end. 

It is also worth remembering the fact that Nissan hasn’t once officially sold a Skyline model in North America, with what is currently dubbed the Skyline in Japan is badged and sold as the Infiniti Q50 over there. And just to cap it all off, this iconic nameplate hasn’t appeared on Godzilla ever since the GT-R was revived with the current R35 iteration. 

Getting back to Ford’s use of the Skyline moniker meanwhile, the American automaker has never actually used this term in its history before. It did use the Skyliner name a number of times back in the ‘50s though, to denote a trim level on its models that came with a rather wild folding hard top mechanism. 

There was also the Transit Skyliner concept too, which was a luxo-MPV that was shown off by Ford back in 2014. Seeing as the American automaker however has moved away from selling sedans and minivans in North America to focus exclusively on SUVs and pickup trucks though, it is highly unlikely to be using the Skyliner or Skyline name on something like those aforementioned examples moving forward. 

In fact, it is perhaps more likely that the American automaker is sitting on the trademark just to spite Nissan. A pattern of behaviour that is certainly in line with Ford having recently named its 7.3-litre V8 the Godzilla.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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