Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will take legal action against China’s Jiangling Motor for its Land Wind X7 compact SUV, despite an earlier complaint having been fobbed off by Chinese authorities already.
The X7 became the latest in a long line of Chinese-market models with knock-off styling when it first appeared in 2014, moving Jaguar Land Rover – which produces the small Range Rover Evoque – to file a complaint over intellectual property theft.
Chinese authorities were reported to have dismissed the allegations in April last year, clearing the roughly AU$25,000 Land Wind X7 for sale in its home market.
Now, business paper Reuters has reported that JLR is taking its case to court, with a spokesperson saying in an email that a Chinese court has “served Jiangling with newly filed actions surrounding copyright and unfair competition”.
It is believed the new action has come, in part, as a response to confirmation that Jiangling had secured an importer for the Brazilian market with a view to selling the X7 there.
The company has been banned from exporting the X7, however, while the case is before the courts.
Foreign car makers have historically steered clear of legal action over copycat models in the Chinese market, fearing backlash from consumers who might view a lawsuit as an attempt to bully local manufacturers.
If JLR is successful, it could set a precedent for other car makers to take similar steps.