In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. But in the land of the copycats, every iconic brands will be copied. That’s China for you. If you think China-designed Xiaomi was bad enough for ripping off America-designed Apple iPhone, you haven’t seen anything yet. With the exception of sophisticated military hardware, talented China can basically copy anything you can think of.
Perhaps in their rush to become the world’s new superpower, China doesn’t really care about IP (intellectual property). Actually no countries really respect IP except the developed countries such as United States or United Kingdom. If there’s one thing that China learns well, it has to be the following – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Well, not only they don’t reinvent the wheel, they also do not believe in redesign the exterior of cars.
Range Rover Evoque has been the drive of choice for Victoria Beckham and Mario Balotelli. And the model saw its sales skyrocket, scoring the best sales figures in over 60 years, much to the delight of parent company Jaguar Land Rover. But that would soon come to an end. Now, when you think of China, don’t just think of fake iPhones, fake Rolexes, fake Ray-Bans, or even fake baby diapers. There’s a new fake product on the block – Land Wind X7.
Land Wind what? Okay, nobody knows what is this piece of junk if they didn’t visit Guangzhou motor show in China last week. But this piece of copycat product is none other than a clone copy of British bestseller Range Rover Evoque. Not only the Chinese “brilliantly” imitates the Evoque, they also plan to sell it at a fraction of the original price – £14,000 (US$22,000; RM73,500) instead of £40,000 (US$62,700; RM210,000).
China-manufactured Land Wind E32 X7 will be powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 190hp and 250nm, mated to a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. The story doesn’t end here. Not only they shamelessly copy 99% of the British Range Rover Evoque, they also applied for patent on the Land Wind E32 SUV for the country’s car market. Who could imagine China dares to patent stolen designs (*grin*)?
If you care to look in detail, you’ll notice that not only China lazily copies almost every angle of the British SUV, Land Wind doesn’t even bothered to develop its own font design. At the front and back, the name is spelled out in a similar “font and style” as its British inspiration. Hmm, perhaps the Chinese loves Range Rover Evoque so much that the only thing they care to redesign was the tyre rims (*tongue-in-cheek*).
Actually, the plan to photocopy Evoque was revealed back in April this year. Now that the clone copy has becomes a reality and is set to be in the market in the fourth quarter of this year or first quarter next year, Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of Land Rover said he will be complaining to Chinese officials over the X7. Good luck to Ralf but most probably the Chinese government would cheekily tell him that in China, the word copyright means the “right to copy”.
Land Wind is a joint venture between two leading Chinese automakers – Jiangling Motors and Changan Auto. While Land Wind has successfully clone the exterior design of Evoque, it may not be able to produce the same results in a crash test, not to mention interior quality and other reliability components. But since it costs a fraction of the genuine product, consumers who couldn’t afford the original luxury car couldn’t care less.
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