While reading this article about how super-low priced Chinese SUVs have cut into the low priced Jeep Cherokee 2500 in China, it's impossible not to notice that the Shuanghuan S-RV is a Honda CRV. The company even went out of their way to name it to remind everyone that they stole the design. I decided to do some investigating on the subject.
At least I found that Honda (and Audi, since the S-RV used two of the rings on an Audi grille as the symbol) had sued Shuanghuan for the blatant rip-off. Upon further research, it looks as though no company that has sued a Chinese automaker for intellectual property rights has won a case. Chinese automakers are stealing the popular designs, teaming it up with old powertrains and cheap interiors and selling them for thousands less than the originals. Is it any wonder why the “Chery” name looks so much like “Chevy”? How’s that Pradda bag of yours holding up?
Other fun “We swear we didn’t steal the design!” vehicles:
Great Wall Motor Company was accused by Nissan for stealing their Frontier nose for an SUV. “We did not infringe the IPR of any other motor producers,” was the response from Great Wall. You decide.
A company called Geely chopped the front and rear from a Mercedes C-Class and grafted them on a compact car. Not only a rip off, but a joke.
Some more can be found here, including the Toyota Tacoma copy, also by Great Wall.
It will be very interesting to see what Chery brings to the table design-wise when a few of their U.S.-bound cars break cover at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month. If the clay mock-up is any indicator, Nissan once again will want to get a piece of the action.