Earlier this week, we showed you the first live shots of Chinese automaker Geely's new GE model, a three-seat luxury sedan unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show. With its gigantic, upright waterfall grille, boxy proportions, Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, and LED starlight headliner, it didn't take an enthusiast's eye to see that Geely is openly aping the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Understandably, that development hasn't been sitting well with Rolls-Royce officials, who promptly got on the horn to their lawyers after clapping their eyes on the GE. While the British luxury firm has stopped short of saying they intend to sue, according to an article in the U.K. Telegraph, a Rolls-Royce spokesman admits "Rolls-Royce is currently keeping its options open and is in consultation with its legal advisers."
At an estimated £30,000 – around $44k USD – for the GE (versus £250,000/$365k for the Phantom), it could be argued that few are likely to confuse the two vehicles, but even still, critics argue that Roller would appear to have a compelling case that cars like the GE are not only intellectual property theft, but that they could also serve to erode brand equity of the genuine article.
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[Source: U.K. Telegraph]