• Jul 23rd 2008 at 8:57AM
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Fiat's Panda is the best selling minicar in Europe, and has been for four years. When China's Great Wall Motor -- Chrysler's Chinese partner -- decided to make a minicar called the GWPeri, it borrowed from the best. That is, if by "borrowed" you mean created a car that differs only from the Panda in it's headlamps and bumper details.
Fiat didn't just do a double-take when it saw the GWPeri, it sued Great Wall Motor both in Italy and in China to prevent the car from being sold in Europe and China. A court in Turin recently decided that "the [GWPeri] does not look like a different car but is a Panda with a different front end." Furthermore, if a Peri ever shows up in Europe, GW will have to pay Fiat €15,000, with every GWPeri after that incurring a €50,000 fee.

Great Wall has already said it is going to contest the European verdict. The Chinese ruling hasn't come down yet, where the GWPeri went on sale earlier this year. Thanks for the tip!

[Source: Automotive World]

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