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Shock! Ford swoops in to snatch Skyline name from Nissan

Nissan USA let the Skyline name lapse, even though in Australia it's been active since 1967. Could it appear on a Mustang?

The Ford Motor Company has trademarked the famous ‘Skyline’ name right from under Nissan’s nose in North America, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

What’s even more shocking is that Nissan USA has allowed the name to lapse, given the immense history and heritage that the badge carries with it, even to this day.

It appears that Ford quietly snatched the name less than a fortnight ago, on July 12, 2021, under the applicant name of ‘Ford Motor Company CORPORATION DELAWARE One American Road Dearborn MICHIGAN 48126’.

But don’t worry, fans of the Nissan and Prince Skyline cars in Australia, the name still belongs to Nissan Australia.

A quick search of ‘Skyline’ reveals that ‘Nissan Skyline’ is still registered as active under the Australian Government’s Australian Trade Mark Search facility online, and has been since October 9, 1967.

That said, the North American development should act as a timely reminder for the Japanese company to set its alarm clock for October 9, 2022, as this is when the Aussie trademark expires.

Of course, we are not expecting Ford to stick the Skyline badge on any exciting sports sedan or coupe any time soon – though a quick poll in the office reveals that it’s a far better name than Evos.

While Skyline is still very active in some parts of the world, with Nissan using it on the Japanese domestic market version of the Infiniti Q50 sedan and its offshoots, the badge has not graced a car officially in Australia since the imported R32 Skyline GT-R supercar was last available in 1993.

Prior to that, the R31 Skyline sedan and wagon were assembled by Nissan Australia in Melbourne from 1986 to 1990.

Interestingly, Ford has a history with the ‘Skyliner’ badge in North America, since that graced a series of upmarket open-topped or clear sunroofed models wearing the now long-defunct Crestline, Fairlane and Galaxie nameplates between 1954 and 1959.

In Japan, the Skyline name first appeared in 1957 on a large sedan made by Prince – a small Japanese company that merged with Nissan in 1967.