If you took a quick look at the pic above, would you be able to tell which one is the Smart ForTwo from Mercedes-Benz and which is the Shuanghuan Noble? Mercedes is apparently concerned enough about that question that it may be filing a lawsuit over the issue. Automotive News is reporting that Benz may be working to block European sales of this Chinese microcar because of how similar it is to the Smart ForTwo (right).
The Shuanghuan Noble (left) is set to debut next month at the IAA in Frankfurt. While there's no doubt they are very similar, it should be noted that the Noble is a four seater and that it will sell for a paltry 7,000 euros in Germany, making it the cheapest car on that market there. The Managing Director of China Automobile Deutschland, Klaus Schlössl, said, "If I were the auto manufacturer I would not make such a big deal out of it. The cars are priced differently and are in a different class in terms of quality. There are many cars on the road today that look similar to each other," he added.
We suspect Mercedes sees it a little differently.
[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]