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China's imitation Corvette

Apparently GM isn’t pursuing any legal action since it doesn’t bear the Corvette name.

GM is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in China through their partnership with SAIC. They probably don’t want to jeopardize that association with what might be considered homage to a 50 year old Corvette design with limited sales of 2 seaters.

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GM also lost a suit filed against Chery in China back in 2005 for copying a small car built by their Daewoo division. Likely not worth the effort for a 62 year old design.

By the same token… Jaguar Land Rover just won a suit against a Chinese company that knocked off their Evoque.

I don’t know design, patent or copyright law, but Jeep went after the first versions of the Indian company Mahindra and their Jeep copycat. The Roxor was redesigned twice before a US court said it no longer looked like a 1950s Jeep, and it was not even able to be used on the road. But it was being sold in the USA.

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Steel body? Cool.
Dang, those Chinese have some pretty sweet tooling.

The Roxor was not never designed to meet US safety rules for road use. It was sold as an off road only vehicle.

WOW. it look amazing. I love it

Not exactly the same situation but I didn’t even know that you can buy a Winnebago in Austrailia that has no connection to the Winnebago USA but the Austrailian courts have allowed their company to keep the name with a disclaimer that they’re not the same company. Friends of ours from here spent a year drivng around Austrailia in a used Winnebago of local manufacture.

Jeep sued Avanti over a planned SUV with vertical grille bars and won, but when Jeep sued GM over the vertical grille bars, in the Hummer, Jeep lost. My guess is that Avanti could not justify the legal cost to defend the suit.

As I said the Roxor isn’t a road vehicle, still, Jeep basically won the design fight as Mahindra redesigned the vehicle so that nobody would mistake it for any vehicle that’s ever been labeled a Jeep.

On the other hand, the Chinese copy of the 1950s Corvette DOES look like a 1950s Corvette. I’d bet good money that the Chinese would never be able to sell such a car within the USA without GM’s agreement. But because its a car only offered in China, GM isn’t challenging it. GM would probably lose such a challenge anyway.

What’s the problem with China copycatting a US Corvette design from years ago? Its a first step towards undermining GM in China and the rest of Asia, where Buick is a best selling brand (esp in China). As an example of what China’s got planned, ask Honda, Kawasaki, Harley Davidson, Yamaha, India’s Enfield and Taiwan’s Kymco, how they feel about what the Chinese did to the motorcycle market in Asia. There isn’t a model made by these guys whose design hasn’t been duplicated, at 50% off, and sold to the rest of Asia. Even Australia and New Zealand see the copycats. They do it so well now that Chinese made engine parts have been found to fit Honda factor scooters and motorcycles.

You WILL see Chinese copycats of more GM products all over Asia. This is not good for GM in the long run… but then when had GM had a long term strategic horizon?

I think that the major obstacle would be the ability of that vehicle to pass current passenger protection standards in The US and in Europe. The likelihood that the Chinese company would be able to devote sufficient funds to the development of a small, low-production convertible–with adequate passenger protection from impact–is very low, IMHO.

I owned a 59 Corvette (same as 58) and when it comes to adding on all of the safety features such as ABS, SRS, and countless other Federally mandated features I have no idea where in the world they would put it. There is literally no room anywhere for anything.

Yes, there is that, but I was referring to things like crumple zones, which take a lot of time and engineering dollars to figure out properly. With a vehicle that is intended to be a very low-production model, I just don’t see a Chinese manufacturer being willing to spend the big bucks (yuan??) that would be necessary to prepare it for approval in the US marketplace.

Jeep VP says they can’t build hellcat wrangler due to lousy crash results due to engine compartment voids but dealers are advertising custom built hellcat wranglers provided by custom shops. Maybe the disclaimer says not intended for use on roads?

To me it says that FCA doesn’t want to sell a vehicle with crash results as bad as the Jeep VP alluded to. It seems like a marketing decision to me, assuming the results are within the law.

They offer the 392 wrangler but did not build a 5.7 version since none would buy it. But I think the 392 has better internals then the 5.7?

Yeah, even the “mainstream major” Chinese carmakers have trouble meeting US standards and customer expectations. There was a hilarious Top Gear episode where they reviewed several of the supposedly best Chinese designed and manufactured cars. They were not impressed. But, eventually the Chinese will learn… US and Japanese carmakers better watch out…

At this point, if American companies aren’t more aggressive in protecting their IP, notably from countries such as China, then they deserve what’s coming.

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Top Gear’s point in a way was that even if the car’s they tested weren’t quite up to their standards now, they were heading in the right direction.

Yeah, The Top Gear guys really hated their design, but admitted that they were much improved mechanically from the first time they drove a Chinese car. They warned that not taking the Chinese seriously would be a mistake. I agree. Especially because Chinese carmakers are subsidized by their government and will be formidable competitors… Very soon.

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