Beijing Auto Show: China shows off how good it is at copying other manufacturers

Beijing Auto Show: China shows off how good it is at copying other manufacturers

It’s not like it’s a new thing. China has been blatantly copying other manufacturers for years with its internally produced cars. But now that the Chinese auto industry is on the main stage it’s much more apparent. Take, for example, the Lifa 320. It looks like a Mini. Several automotive companies (including smart, BMW and Mercedes) have threatened legal action against Chinese manufacturers for making such blatant ripoffs of their cars as for the public to be quite easily confused over whether the Chinese version is an authentic or licensed model.

The major manufacturers of course want a piece of China and don’t want their brand equity diluted by Chinese auto companies which can do a great job of imitating, but a rubbish job of innovating. And then there’s the dubious safety quality of some of the vehicles launched. I think it’ll be a good five years before the Chinese start to make a real mark on the auto industry with their own designs and brands. In the meantime their main publicity may come from the various walks of shame at the expense of big manufacturers outing copyright infringement examples.

It’s not like it’s a new thing. China has been blatantly copying other manufacturers for years with its internally produced cars. But now that the Chinese auto industry is on the main stage it’s much more apparent. Take, for example, the Lifa 320. It looks like a Mini. Several automotive companies (including smart, BMW and Mercedes) have threatened legal action against Chinese manufacturers for making such blatant ripoffs of their cars as for the public to be quite easily confused over whether the Chinese version is an authentic or licensed model.

The major manufacturers of course want a piece of China and don’t want their brand equity diluted by Chinese auto companies which can do a great job of imitating, but a rubbish job of innovating. And then there’s the dubious safety quality of some of the vehicles launched. I think it’ll be a good five years before the Chinese start to make a real mark on the auto industry with their own designs and brands. In the meantime their main publicity may come from the various walks of shame at the expense of big manufacturers outing copyright infringement examples.

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