When it comes to things that the Chinese can copy and then sell as their own, imagination seems to have only the sky as limit. A list of famous cars copied by the Chinese is just a straw in the huge haystack of “borrowed” concepts and products the Chinese managed to amaze the world with. From famous Western brands, buildings, airplanes and even full retail operations, they all seem to have found their corespondent on the Chinese counterfeiting market. And since China’s car market has room for everything from the coolest sports cars to the luxurious, high-end vehicles, there is no wonder you can find there copycats and clones that can blow your mind.
According to an article on CNBC,
these rogue counterfeit businesses are a problem for companies that are trying to establish a brand image in China’s emerging economy. While some of these operations sell actual products from the legitimate companies, many simply copy the retail format, right down to even the colors and slogans. Other forms of this type of counterfeiting have followed in the wake of major consumer trends, where illegally copying products, brands, or intellectual property of successful companies has turned into big business in China.
So among all these, let’s take a look over ten famous cars copied by the Chinese and see what is this all about.
1. Rolls Royce Phantom = Geely GE
When it first hit the market in 2009, people were in awe seeing how well detailed the copycat was. Of course, Rolls Royce officials weren’t at all pleased with this and were thinking about lawsuits, but all in all, the Chinese version of a Phantom was estimated to sell at $44k USD instead of $365k for the real one and the Chinese didn’t stop here. A new generation of Geely’s – Geely Emgrand GE limousine is waiting for customers starting with 2014.
2. Porsche Cayenne = BYD T6
Looks like a Porche Cayenne and maybe roars like a Porche Cayenne, but it is definitely not one, although back in the day, when presented at auto -shows and listed in brochures, the BYD T6 was priced around $12,000.
3. Toyota Previa = M6 BYD
The M6 BYD makes the list of famous cars copied by the Chinese, not only because it was presented and marketed in terms like “big cars for little money can’t do much wrong in the extremely price-competitive car market in China”, but because in 2010 the most expensive version was around $35,800 and, most importantly, it had so much of a success, that in 2013 it received a face – lift and a complete make-over, the new BYD M6 reaching $25,347 in its most expensive version.
4. Mazda 3 = Haima 3
The “old” Haima 3, which is a Mazda 3 copycat, hit the market in 2007, while the new one, face-lifted and improved, launched in 2012. It is a hit in Philippines and one very appreciated model is the Haima 3 GLX, priced around $16,000.
5. FIAT Panda = Great Wall Peri
Do the Italians know how to make cars? They sure do! However, there is nothing the Chinese can’t copy, and one of the most famous cars copied by the Chinese is also one of Europe’s favorite vehicles, the FIAT Panda. However, you can find the Italian Panda’s Chinese twin (wait, isn’t the Panda a Chinese origin bear?) available on the market at around $8,900 USD in its most expensive version.
6. Audi A4 Avant = Yema Mustang F16
Yet another clone, the electric Chinese Mustang is a bit smaller than its German counterpart, but as looks are concerned, it is almost identical with the Avant, with a few exceptions, of course, in quality. It is perfect for taxis and its estimated mass consumption price revolved around $16,500 USD.
7. Mini Cooper = Lifan Motors 320
China’s favorite mini – clone, the Lifan Motors 320 was released for public consumption in 2009, at a price that could beat the original MINI Cooper from the distance – $7,142 USD. Of course, it can’t beat the Cooper at “styling, quality, driving dynamics, fun-factor and heritage”, the Jalopnik remarks.
8. Ford F 150 = JAC 43R
This car has quite an interesting history behind: in 2012, JAC revealed a car prototype that looked so well like the Ford F 150, that it forced the hand of Ford Company to hire some lawyers. JAC realized the car looked just a bit too much with the Ford, so they went back to their creative offices and changed a few features of the 43R. The new JAC Ruichi II pickup truck is now the new Ruichi Zhengtu and if it still looks like Ford to you, well then… let’s see what they come up with next.
9. Mercedes Benz C Class = Geely Merrie 300
A rip-off, a knockoff, you name it, but the Geely Merrie still ignites some controversy, as it is a rather perfect clone of the German muscle car, although the Chinese version lacks a lot of German style and quality features. It made automotive fans question the Merries’ capacities to be actually called a car, but with a price ranging between $10k and $11k, you can’t complain much, can you?
10. Volkswagen Taigun = Jiangsu Lake Motors SUV
This one is brand new and it is said to enter production in 2016, but the Chinese made a good habit in copying famous cars and leaving behind the most important details. However, cloning a car and filing for a patent to build a copy-car is something new even for the Chinese, being a premiere for a Chinese car manufacturer to try patenting a stolen design.
Would you ever buy one of the famous cars copied by the Chinese? Would you try driving one at least?