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Why Tesla is changing its name (in China)

China, meet Tuosule.

With everything going so well for Tesla -- breaking testing machine and all -- now seems like a terrible time for a name change. But that's exactly what's happening to the brand in China thanks to one tough bargainer.

According to Inautonews.com, Zhan Baosheng purchased the Tesla trademark in China back in 2006. Tesla didn't try to claim the name until 2009, three years too late. And it doesn't look like Baosheng is budging on a buyout. Tesla reportedly offered $326,000 for the name, Baosheng wanted $32 million. That led the company to take the name-change route.

China, meet Tuosule.

Here's the literal translation according to China Daily:

Tuosule actually combines three Chinese words: Tu, which means "expand", su, "speed", and le, "fun", or "happiness".

While the trademark dispute is delaying the process of getting Tesla in the world's largest auto market, the company still plans to open a showroom in Beijing later this year.

Photo: Flickr/Duncan Rawlinson

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com