What Automakers Are Suing Chinese For

Why does China infuriate all car brands?

As long as the world adheres to the copyright principle and pirate parties gain a low percentage of votes, we will witness proceedings between major car manufacturers and Chinese enterprising companies. In this article, we recall what Ford and Geely had an argument about, and what Land Rover and Landwind have in common.

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BMW vs. Shuanghuan

Only now China-based Brilliance produces fully licensed copies of the BMW X1. But when it all started, there was no question of any official borrowing. Therefore, in 2007, BMW sued Shuanghuan Automobile Co. for copying the X5 (E53) model, which was named as the Shuanghuan Sceo. The Munich court banned the sale of “pseudo-Xs” in Germany, but BMW failed to achieve the same success in other countries.

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Honda vs. Shuanghuan

The company sued Shuanghuan Automobile Co Honda because of the same reason: the Shuanghuan S-RV resembles the Honda CR-V too much (and not only in design but also in name). At first, Honda simply asked to suspend the car production, but since no one listened to them, the case went to the Beijing court. The court, however, did not see anything illegal in the activities of Shuanghuan, as in most similar cases.

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Mercedes-Benz vs. Shuanghuan

Mercedes-Benz also ran over Shuanghuan Automobile Co. The cause of the conflict was the Noble model. You can notice similarities with the Smart ForTwo of the previous generation with the naked eye. However, Daimler was far from being able to prove its case in everything, since the cars are in different price categories and have completely different layouts (the Noble is front-engined and has 4 seats). In Greece, for example, sales of Shuanghuan Noble were not stopped.

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Fiat vs. Great Wall

In December 2006, Fiat sued Great Wall for copying their popular Panda model: the Peri was so similar to the Italian car that they even had completely interchangeable doors. As a result, the Turin court banned sales of Chinese copies in Europe and issued a warning to Great Wall. The company had to pay €50,000 thousand for each imported Peri to the European Union. The Chinese were not confused and filed a counterclaim. They said that Fiat copied Great Wall. Whatever it was, now this incident is not remembered by any of the parties. There is a high probability that Great Wall will become the owner of FCA.

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Porsche vs. Zotye

In 2015, Porsche, whose Macan was copied by Zotye, tried to defend its intellectual property rights (and also unsuccessfully). All that the Germans were able to achieve was a ban on the sale of the Chinese model in the European Union. But the Zotye Z700 (also known as the SR9) is still being sold with a bang in China. After all, the SUV is much more affordable than that of the Macan.

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Land Rover vs. Landwind

But legal proceedings between Land Rover and Landwind are still ongoing. The Landwind X7 – the Chinese counterpart of the popular Range Rover Evoque – is still being sold in China. Not so long ago, a curious case happened: a Range Rover Evoque and a Landwind X7 — an original and a copy — collided in China.

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Daewoo vs. Chery

When the Chery QQ loomed on the horizon, General Motors was simply shocked: no one even suspected that the compact low-cost car would be the object of plagiarism. More than a year of legal proceedings did not lead to anything: the QQ was sold all over the planet, although its design was seriously changed and began to resemble… the first-generation Citroen C1.

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Ford vs. Geely

Ford's claims against Geely do not concern design copying but the consonance of the names. Lynk & Co, Geely’s new brand, sounds like Lincoln, which, according to the Americans, can cause confusion. However, this problem is rather conditional, since the target audience of Lynk & Co and Lincoln is completely different (including age groups).

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Qoros vs. Kia

The order is correct and there is no confusion. It was the Chinese company that sued Kia. And, by the way, it won the case! The stumbling block was the flagship Kia Quoris, the name of which resembles the Chinese company in both spelling and sound. The outcome of the case is as follows: the large sedan is sold under a different name (the K9 or K900) in those markets where Qoros is represented. Anyway, the conflict is over.

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