Perhaps there was once a time when the Chinese citizenry couldn't tell the difference between a Mercedes-Benz and a Honda. In today's car-crazy China, however, this is clearly no longer the case. That didn't stop police in Fangchenggang (part of Guangxi Province) from performing a low-tech badge swap on a Mercedes-Benz ML350 in a bid to make it look like a run-of-the-mill Honda, right down to CR-V emblem on the rear liftgate.

Car News China reports that the police did it to fool taxpayers into thinking that the department didn't spend big bucks on a Benz. An ML350 reportedly costs around 900,000 yuan ($139,000 USD), which is a lot more than Honda CR-V, which runs around 200,000 yuan ($30,000 or so). As you may have guessed, the ridiculous (and failed) cover-up attempt by the cops angered residents whole lot more than if they'd simply rolled out, baller style, in the Mercedes from the beginning.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well nice to know that corruption and attempting to dupe the public just isnt a "western" thing haha.
        Kotse
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        The West has no monopoly (an understatement) on corruption (rampant)...ever heard of nepotism and crony capitalism....I've seen it all in my own eyes and grew up in one so-called society (though now long banished, in my old country in SE Asia).
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        [blocked]
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      It would have been smarter to rebadge it as one of the hundreds of Chinese auto brands and have everyone believe it was yet another blatant Chinese copy.
      mcdonaldtyler
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why would they do that? I thought half the price was just for the badges...
      Matt Off White
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think what gave them away was the wheels still clearly marked with the benz star.
      Synthono
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait until they see what the chief drives: http://www.autoblog.com/2007/07/05/cruel-sick-joke-bentley-continental-badged-as-a-hyundai/
      AcidTonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      But the cops are always saying "if you have nothing to hide.......". Seems like that's a bit backwards eh? Those red light cameras need to fund *something*, and it's not a better government for you, only luxury for them.
      Sean Sankey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Political ingenuity...
      AldenBiesen
      • 3 Years Ago
      A girl I know drives a Daihatsu Terios but she had it rebadged as a Toyota Rush. Not that you'd notice because it's 99% the same vehicle...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        u
        • 3 Years Ago
        Did your mom taught you that because a Chinese man didn't pay her for the BJ?
      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not too surprising. When you've heard of entire fields spray-painted green to look like green grass from satellite images, of Brolex watches to elevator buttons that look like touch screen pads but work only like push buttons, to A/C units in hotel rooms that -look- like real A/C units but are actually just a fan in a box.... stuff like this doesn't surprise me. There may be exceptions... but the China of today is one huge coverup and knockoff bazaar, presenting one face while hiding everything that would draw criticism. Think I'm making this up? This Autoblog article proves my point... the POLICE were caught doing this. Not just one or two cops.. the entire department!
        Gmetal
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gorgenapper
        Thats the opposite of what happens here, think air-con disguised as a fan.
          Gorgenapper
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gmetal
          That's reverse disappointment... looks like a cheapo fan, but cools like a champ. I'd take that any day.
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gorgenapper
        When they hosted the Olympics they banned all automotive travel I believe 2 weeks before they games started to help clear out all the smog in the city. I remember the news pointed out how dense the smog was and how the sky slowly opened up and air quality went up as the days went on. Sure enough I bet the air quality is back to the smog filled sky that would make LA look like the open country.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gorgenapper
        Yep, and not to mention the censorship of all media so that nobody knows anything they are not supposed to know. Chinese people are usually nice, but the government is screwed up.
          the.ting
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          Same can be said for just about any government of any country under any system. The bureaucrats, once they have power they become slaves to it, like a crack ***** to crack and would do anything to have and keep it and corruption ensues. Fairness, whether it be through democracy, a republic, socialism or communism is an utopian fantasy. Wherever humans congregate, there will always be the haves and the have-nots.
      Al Terego
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is more of a statement of how people overpay for fancy yet mediocre vehicles such as that Benz. A Honda will suffice if it's not the 'prestige' you're after.
      Dest
      • 3 Years Ago
      Without the badge, it doesn't look like a luxury vehicle at all.
        ChrisDPrice
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dest
        Go see the Mercedes taxis in Germany in their puke beige color. Even WITH the badge, they don't scream luxury... : )
    • Load More Comments
    Advertisement
    2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
    MSRP: $48,300 - $98,400
    2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
    MSRP: $47,790 - $97,250
    2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
    MSRP: $47,270 - $96,100