• Aug 21st 2007 at 4:31PM
  • 35
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.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The only way to beat such arrogant piracy is to bankrupt those who produces the rip-offs. I will be happy to see M-B receiving tangible compensation and banning this thing from sales anywhere, including China, something that may effectively drive the automaker out of business. Same for Brilliance and Chery - the way to keep those unsafe, low quality replicas off the road is to allow their creators invest 100s of millions into production and marketing just to see it's been killed by quality and safety regulations.
      • 8 Years Ago
      and I forgot to add; that "imitation" Chinese Jeep you are referring to was actually built by Bejing Jeep, and was built in partnership with Chrysler.

      the first three non-Chinese companies to build vehicles in China were Shanghai VW, Bejing Jeep, and GM with Buick. Buicks were used by many high-level government officials and executives, and is still seen as a car equivelent to a Mercedes-Benz or BMW in China today.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Good luck with that. You'll have the same success Chevy did when Chery knocked the Spark off as the QQ.

      Not only has Chevy gotten no satisfaction, but Chery is readying to sell cars in the US.

      What a joke.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I want to see the crash test results.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Step on an empty pop can. I'll wait...
        Probably something like that.
        • 8 Years Ago
        it uses the passenger as airbag to save teh groceries!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      You can buy an electric car for use on private properties and suburbs in North America that also copies the Smart car. I wish I could think of the company name but they do a much worse job then that gross looking "Noble" pictured above.
      Some of the China market clones are interesting, you could even buy a copy of the 80's Jeep Cherokee there at one time. The spokesperson from that company also said that because of the quality and price it would not compete with actual Jeep sales.
      Does anybody remember how terrible those lovable old Cherokees are? The China market copies must of fallen apart on the first day.
      • 8 Years Ago

      please tell me how awful the old Cherokees were. I had five of them over the years, and every one was just great. how many did you own? there was not a vehicle in their class that was better off-road, either. they had the first small four-door SUV when they came out in 1984; how many years did it take the competition to catch up with adding just two more doors? ...and none was able to match the durability, power, and long life of the 4.0 litre straight six.

      perhaps you can enlighten more of us, because resale values are high on all of them, especially the 1999-2001 models, the last ones built.

      as the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        • 8 Years Ago
        The 80's were a bad time for most automakers in terms of reliability. The Cherokees were no exception. As you've had a micro fleet of them I would imagine you know how to properlly care for them and keep them going without problem.
        I even know of people who said their Audi 5000 was the most reliable car they ever owned.

        However, as I seem to of struck a sore spot and to make up for it I'll let you go mud-bogging in my backyard.
      • 8 Years Ago
      China is a scary place. Who would put antifreeze in toothpaste? Lead in toys? Poison in pet food? All to save a few bucks. The root cause is not creativity or lack of standards, but a moral vacuum or a lack of ethics.

      Cloning cars is just wrong. That's why we have patents so that someone who does the hard work to invent a better mouse trap should be able to benefit from it. Not sure how China can instill morality when it's dealing with capitalism at the expense of everything.

      This won't last. I'm an ethnic Chinese.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Whenever a new car comes out it is pulled into a thousand pieces by the competition for reverse engineering.

      It is just the law preventing it in Western Countries.

      The market knows the "value" of a Chinese built clone....and will vote accordingly.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not to be racist here, but can't the Chinese do anything right? First the Brilliance crash test debacle, then the Lexus RX clone, now this?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm half Chinese. I still say, this is pathetic, and I really, really hope that these POS rip off companies get the crap sued out of them. As you said, they can't do anything right in this industry ATM...
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's not the only things that the Chinese have "Stolen."


      I didn't know Pagani made a Zonda Bus. lol.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Chinese (Im asian so I guess I can say that) has ALWAYS been making fakes. I remember we could not afford the real Voltron so I got the cheap generics from china.

      but yeah, its sad to see that they do not have an ounce of creativity in them and aren't even ashamed of it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Now metermaids have a choice.
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