Official: Ford Stopped Tesla’s S.E.X.Y. Fun With Legal Threats

When Tesla trademarked the name “Model E” this time last year, it opened up a future where a Tesla Model E — based on Tesla’s future third-generation platform — would join the existing Tesla Model S and soon-to-launch Tesla Model X to spell the that three-letter word we all snickered at as kids: S.E.X.

The Tesla Model E lost its name because of threatened legal action, admits Ford.

The Tesla Model E lost its name because of threatened legal action, admits Ford.

Like an unruly class of fifth graders, Tesla was soon told off for picking the Model E trademark and spelling rude words on its calculator. Unlike the fifth graders however, Tesla’s reprimand didn’t come as a consequence of a cross school teacher. It came in the form of a legal threat from Ford.

Speaking at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday, Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk admitted that the Tesla Model E name — and the idea of spelling out S.E.X. — originally came from a friend who was joking with him about future Tesla names.

“It kind of stuck even though we were just kidding,” Musk admitted.

Jokes or not however, shortly after Tesla trademarked the name and fans started to talk about the all-new Tesla Model E, Ford came calling…threatening legal action.

While Ford hasn’t officially ever produced a Model E, it too had a claim on the name, and wasn’t happy about Tesla trying to give it to one of its luxury electric cars.

“Ford called and said they were going to sue us for using ‘Model E,'” Musk told the assembled audience yesterday. “They are killing S.E.X.”

Tesla had even trademarked the Model Y in preparation, he admitted.

Don't worry though Elon: we still think the Model S is SEXY...

Don’t worry though Elon: we still think the Model S is SEXY…

When Tesla quietly dropped its claim to the Model E trademark a month or so ago, many within the industry speculated that its decision was influenced by legal action from Ford. Musk’s public admittance of these facts are no surprise to those who follow the automotive industry closely — but it’s always good to get closure on a theory.

As for the car formerly referred to as the Tesla ‘Model E’ by fanboys and even Musk himself? Musk promised that Tesla already has some ideas for a new name which while undisclosed, could fit the third-generation, mass-market, affordable car perfectly.

With the promise that its third-generation Tesla will bring long-distance supercharger-ready affordable family cars to the masses, the eyes of the world are watching and waiting for the unveiling of the new name for this important car.

What do you think Tesla will name the car formerly known as the ‘Model E’? What name would you give it? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • Michael Thwaite

    Bah humbug Ford! Bah Humbug.

  • ABell

    Boo… Ford! You suck – just like your electric car sales compared to Tesla…..

  • Kalle Centergren

    do you think he plan to spell out another word with models? something with S X and without E (or T i guess) nmaybe X-GAS ?

  • mike

    Model 3

  • Mark Petersen

    well just go out and trademark “F”…

  • jo

    S U C K