Economy, Auto

Jaguar Land Rover Sues Over Chinese Ripoff

Jaguar Land Rover Sues Over Chinese RipoffJaguar Land Rover Sues Over Chinese Ripoff

Jaguar Land Rover is suing the Chinese makers of the LandWind X7 SUV—Jiangling Motor—for ripping off the Range Rover Evoque’s design.

Chinese copies of western cars are not as rife as they once were, but the Land Wind X7, unveiled last year in China, is about as blatant a breach of design copyright as you could imagine. And Jaguar Land Rover has had enough.

According to Reuters, JLR has served Jiangling with court papers in China for copyright breaches and unfair competition relating to the LandWind X7 and its similarities to the Range Rover Evoque. Which seems a brave, and surprising, move by JLR, Cars UK reported.

Just last year, Ralph Speth, JLR CEO, said of the LandWind X7, “I really regret that all of a sudden copy-paste is coming up again that will not help the reputation of China, of Chinese industry at all.”

It may be that JLR thinks they are in with a better shout suing Jiangling as the Evoque is now made in China, in a joint venture with Chery Motors, although most western carmakers have avoided such confrontations as Chinese courts are notoriously slow to judge, and when they do it’s usually not in favor of the plaintiff.

There is also a perception of “bullying” from China’s car buyers, who feel western car companies have no right to criticize what China’s carmakers are doing.

Perhaps JLR feel they need to take action now to make it easier to block sales of X7 in other parts of the world, with Jiangling planning to export the LandWind X7 to South America and also hopes to assemble the copy in Iran as well.

In the previous case of BMW, who also sued a car company in China for ripping off its BMW X5 design, it was ruled by the Chinese authorities that the vehicle was not a copy and that it could not see the similarities, according to Top Gear.