Australia’s new homegrown car company has hit its first speed bump, with Toyota moving to trademark the name ‘Snowy’ on the same day H2X announced plans to use that moniker for its mid-size SUV, essentially blocking the hydrogen-fuelled vehicle maker from using its chosen nameplate.
The H2X news, officially reported here on CarsGuide, first surfaced on June 15, with the the talent-packed Australian car company announcing it would manufacture a hydrogen-powered SUV in Australia, called the Snowy, which could be on the road as early as 2022.
But Toyota was clearly having none of it, with the Japanese giant trademarking the Snowy nameplate with the Australian IP office that same day, on June 15.
You might remember Toyota has used the name in the Snowy in the past, specifically for LandCruiser Prado special editions from a number of years ago.
And the brand clearly wasn’t going to let the name go without a fight, with the name “Snowy” trademarked with the Australian Government’s Intellectual Property Office on June 15, with the application currently under review.
If accepted, and it likely will be, it will mean H2X will be effectively blocked from using the name Snowy for its passenger SUV.
The H2X's SUV is a futuristic, premium-looking SUV, with a bold front end that blends into a vaguely Volvo-inspired side profile, while the white roof adds yet another visual element.
And the design should be impressive, really, given in H2X's talent pool swims Chris Reitz, a former Alfa Romeo Design Director. He's joined bye other industry heavyweights, like Alan Marder (formerly a Toyota executive), Peter Zienau (formerly of Saab and Chevrolet), Ian Thompson (formerly of Tesla) and Kevin McCann (formerly of Hyundai Australia and Volvo). The company is led by former VW and BMW executive Brendan Norman.
Asked how he felt about Toyota's move, Mr Norman seemed largely unbothered, confiding that the company was yet to officially settle on a name for the SUV, and pointing out that Snowy was one of a number of names in contention.
"It's very nice that Toyota is acknowledging us," he said. "I have a lot of admiration for everything they have done. It's nice to be acknowledged."