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Le Mans Group loses brand battle

After a five-year legal battle with Le Mans 24-hour race organiser Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Bedford-based parts distributor Le Mans Motorsport has been forced to change its trading name and product branding to LMA Distribution.

The company, formed in 1999 as Le Mans Group, distributes up to half a million performance tuning components a year under its own brands and for manufacturers such as Pipercross, Speedwell, Richbrook and TIM.

But following a Tradesmark Registry decision that ACO has the rights to the name Le Mans, Le Mans Group has had to begin the process of changing all product packaging and parts catalogues.

The exercise, which comes after protracted hearings which originally ruled in favour of Le Mans Group with costs awarded, but which was turned round after an appeal by ACO in October, is thought to have cost the group tens of thousands of pounds.

LMA Distribution managing director Stuart Cumming won't be drawn on how much the company is out of pocket, but says: "We're putting all this behind us and getting with our business."

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