The intellectual property battle continues as more and more Chinese cars make their way to Europe. The car at the centre of attention today is the Chinese-built minicar, better know as “the bubble”.

Originally planned for for the Bologna auto show today, the car has a remarkably similar shape to the Smart ForTwo, resulting in Daimler (parent of Smart) initiating legal action against the car’s importer, Martin Motors.

Although Martin Motors was under court orders not to display the vehicle, the car was briefly shown to a group of journalists so that the company could clear its name.

We want everyone to see in real life how a four-seat front-engine front-wheel drive minicar differs from a rear-engine rear-wheel drive two-seater,” said Martin Motors spokesperson Viviana Martinelli.

The court now has to rule if the Chinese minicar violates Daimler’s copyright. The decision will set a precedence for Chinese cars destined for European markets.

China’s own Smart ForTwo

If the court rules in favour of the Chinese, the 50kW 1.1-litre Bubble will go on sale in Italy and Romania by the end of December. The car is designed by Shuanghuan cars in Beijing.

The Bubble .vs. Smart ForTwo

What do you think? Does it look like a Smart ForTwo?

  • tony

    looks like an off road Smart

  • alec

    Bloody Oath it looks like a Smart!!
    The Courts would want to rule in Daimlers favour otherwise the automotive world might as well not bother with copyrighting any more!!

    Due to its very similar design details, it could be easy for someone to mistake it for the Four2… and potentially tarnish the Four2’s (and Daimlers) reputation, especially if the ‘Bubbles’crash worthiness is anything like other chinese cars…
    for example… you may see one on the side of the road broken down, or worse still in a crash, mistake it for a Four2 and judge Daimler and Smart by what you saw!!!

  • Supercujo

    The cars cut an entirely different profile. Remove the Smart colour panel behind the doors and it loss most of its similarities.

    If Daimler win this case, doesn’t it mean that Mazda can go after Subaru for copying the back end of a Mazda3?

    Deal with it Daimler, you are just pissed off someone has built a tiny car and isn’t charging $40K for it.

  • Kiasu

    Upon closer inspection I have to say that cars look quite different. Perhaps at first glance they look similar but really, you can tell they are different.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Na Id be pissed to if the general public persieve this bubble car to look like the Smart car then there screwed,its called passing off,and thats what they have done.Thing is with the Chinese some idiot told them they only have to change a product by 10% to allow them to copy something……nope!!

    We are part of group in the UK called ACID {ANTI COPING IN DESIGN} UK and Euro laws are real hard on people coping products and have crushed many a container of products that have been found to be deliberate copies ! I hope the do nail them it might tell the Chinese finally to get there own ideas !!

  • Myke

    …but you can easily tell whether Martin Motors got inspiration from, to design the Bubble.

  • Momo

    Yup, I agree BM. Those shameless copiers need to be taught a lesson.

  • Grumps

    Are the Chinese that bad off for designers that they can’t come up with anything themselves!

    It’s fair enough to adopt the ‘type’ of vehicle but surely it couldn’t be hard to come up with something that at least is different on the outside.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yes they are Grumps………………their problem mainly being they don’t know what Westerners like!! Only way they can produce product is to copy Western designs!!! Japan use to do the same 40 years ago and Thailand…….20 years on Thailand are much better with designing and quality! China have a long way to go and as there quality improves and designing so will the cost of employing people so then your back to paying more for your product!!

  • Duck

    Yep, like all the chinese do, it looks quite similar to me!

  • Casey

    I can see similarities, but I guess that’s a common theme these days in any car-to-car comparison. Sure it’s a strong similarity, be interesting to see how the court case goes.

  • Lcat

    Cloning is obviously not an ethical dilemma for China’s not so smart.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Ethics and Chinese???????Its the dollar that matters to them!

    Your right not smart! Very short term in thinking!

  • Lcat

    it won’t matter for long though, soon china will own all the iron ore on the planet…….then we will see who is really smart!!!

  • bubba ganush

    In Communist countries the state does the thinking for them hence no ideas of their own.

    I hope daimler wins the court case if they dont then it seems every car could possibly be the same shape i mean if camry gets car of the year why better it when you can do a mock variant and charge 6k less

  • Grant

    is counterfeit even in the chinese vocabulary? i seriously think not.

    where is their pride?

    and worse yet, where is the pride of the person who pays money for this junk?

  • Bavarian Missile

    Lcat……….I think your dreaming….I doubt the Australian Government will every allow China to take over such a valuable resource too Australia. Us Westerners are smarter than the Chinese think!

    Chinese don’t have pride its not part of their culture……saving face for them is the most important thing so they don’t look like the idiots! How do they save face…….from my experience they just lie to you which pisses you off more!!

  • Sexythang

    i think the copying is going on too much. Court action needs to be done to stop china car companies carbon copy japan or europe’s design.
    there is far too many copies.

  • golfschwein

    It’s a copy. They didn’t trace it, they just drew it freehand.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Hey Golfshwein………..I have just sent you a picture of a nice 6pac……….enjoy!!hehehe

    Did you manage to down load any episodes of Top Gear I sent you the link too?

    Do you know its going to be 38 here Christmas day!!!!!!!!!Did you get your card yet?

    Rest of Australia in the 20s and Rain!!!!!!!!

  • David

    The original SMART shares a display platform at the Museum of Modern Art NYC with a Vespa & a Vincent(motorbikes).
    This thing called Bubble doesn’t take anything away from the original,it looks like a clumsy imitation.Would like to see both side by side after a 100,000ks of Pizza deliveries.On the issue of pride,we & the rest of the world are guilty of undermining local manufacturing in pursuit of lower prices at walmart etc,I fear environmental vandalism is occuring in China as a result. Bavarian has said the population is mainly uneducated etc,but who is making a killing.Party officials?

  • Lcat

    BM maybe I am dreaming (hope so anyway) but China (read Baosteel) are lobbying Canberra very hard to prevent BHP Billiton gobbling up Rio Tinto and creating a monopoly.

    Their next option(which they are currently denying)is to become a bidder. Saving $$$ over saving face will probably take precedence here!

  • JJ

    I thought we gonna discuss the car. have you losers ever tried to think unbiasedly?

  • Lcat

    fair call JJ, nice color isn’t it? hang on it’s Ferrari red… oops could be another copyright issue.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Lcat………yep I heard and read the same! I know China currently has problems in getting enough steel but they do get most of their steel from Japan! Production is slowing down because of it…most factories are going from 60 days lead time too 90! Thats a long time to wait for product and I guess customers like ourselves complain enough China will endeavor to try and save face anyway they can!

    JJ…… haven’t even made a comment on the copied product! Have you???????

  • Andrew

    I don’t think the chinese car is so close as to warrant a ban, if you can’t tell the difference between the cars you need glasses. There are a lot of cars that look similar… think about it there are thousands of car designs on the road at the moment and off course some of them are going to look similar.

    For example, i think the kia ceed looks much more similar to the previous generation corolla hatch than these two cars, yet toyota aren’t litigating there.

    Just an incentive for the leading manufacturers to be more innovative in their designs perhaps? In the end competition is good for consumers :)

  • Bavarian Missile

    The problem is though Andrew some manufactures take sections of a model……….here it is clear they are trying to pass off theres as a Smart Car!!

  • Andy

    Don worry about how it looks. Wait till some poor sod crashes it into a blade of grass or a plate of jelly. Benz spent hundreds of millions making sure that every SMART has the structural integrity of a bigger car. This company prolly spent abt fifty cents on the same problem.

    I;ve been in a Chery and my God I thought those Hyundai Excel interior designers were put to death long ago. A Jetstar economy seat would have been more comfortable and the plastics… lets just say Michael Jackson’s face has had more thought put into it than the Chery.
    I presume the pathetic belt were leftovers from a fake Billabong belt factory. I also asked abt the lack of airbags. The salesman said, “we don’t need it coz its a city car.”

    I promptly left the showroom.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Hey Andy……problem is people will buy on the dollar value….and this will be cheap!!And Crap!!!!!!!!!

  • JJ

    OMG!! Bavarian Missile!! really hope you just trying to be funny.
    so China gets problems even when they as a buyer???
    okay, they got more steels than japan, and they should be blamed rather than these sellers, because of what? they offered better deal? and who says these steels should belong to japan anyway? just because they owned more before?
    BTW, Bavarian Missile, let me tell you something, the reason people coming to “comment” section is they want to share their views about that news with others, and the reason they didnt do that is the people like you drift the topic to silly!!!!

  • Bavarian Missile

    Funny………there is nothing funny about getting your product copied by the Chinese ……..who by the way think they can!! {WE HAVE} JJ…………..You speak like your Chinese!!!!!!Mate I comment on the Chinese coping cars……….if you don’t like it then ……well go away!!You cant tell me the Chinese haven’t blatantly copied here!!!!!!! As I have said before .

    Don’t tell me why people come to comment on this site……..I have probably made over 1000 posts on this site ……..what about you!!!!!!!

    I wish Japan was still cheap to produce our product with………..I would be with them in a second!!!!!!!!As most others..India is looking good at the moment! China is full of copiers and no pride in their product!! The dollar is all that matters!!!!!! I speak for a lot of manufacturers in Australia………shit the world!!!!Now you made we swear.

    China is going to start loosing more manufactures because they copy, they produce, crap products at a premium price and they LIE flat out to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am part of thousands of manufacturers in Australia that are sick of the lies from Chinese manufactures and their product being copied…You going too defend that too!!!!!!!!!

  • Sexythang

    china is a good country if you’re in the 1% rich and powerful.

    everyone will be turning to the cheapest source to make the products at an acceptable level and market it to the buying public. i.e clothes etc.

    luckily cars are different coz you have to actually build them properly. same goes for high tech electronics. therefore places like china and india will always look to cut excessive cost for profit in the short term will have problems.

  • Dieselhead

    Hey..yes it looks like a smart but given the limits of design and the possibilities most small cars will somehwo look similar to a smart. Yes painting the panels as a smart adds to the problems for the chinese.

    The car itself will probably be rubbish compared to the Smart.

    I remember Mercedes taking up a case against Volvo to daring to name a car begining with a ‘C’.. bully boy tacktics methinks

  • http://CARADVICE.COM.AU Chris Parr

    lets just hope these cheap unsafe ugly cars dont make it to australia ever!!!

  • MatthewM

    Yes, but so what — holden commodores look like Audi A4s.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yeah but the difference being GMH aren’t trying to make it look obvious that its an Audi …….The cheap Chinese copy are trying to pass it off as Smart car to gain sales!

  • Owen

    Back to basics – is it safe? If it is, leave it at that. From the rear 3/4 view, I defy the casual observer to differentiate from a new Impreza, the old Mazda3 and the Hyundai i30. Let the Chinese clone a cheap, safe, economical form of city transport. Did I mention safety? Whatever…..

  • Bavarian Missile

    Well I guess if they have copied everything then it would be….but safety costs money and this would be built for selling in large numbers at a reduced cost to the Smart Car!
    So I guess no!

    Why should we allow the Chineese to continue to copy others products
    that manufacturers spend millions in development and design!

  • Myke

    At the end of the day most cars coming out of Europe, Japan and Korean aren’t completely unique in terms of design.
    The Hyundai i30 for example, looks as though it is a calibration of several other cars from different companies, but because it is so mixed Hyundai can get away with it.
    Plus Ssangyong is proof of what can happen if a car company tries to standout completely in terms of design.

    That being said copying other companies cars is bad, but atleast ‘The Bubble’ isn’t a smart car with a different logo on it.

  • Andrew

    I wonder how many people come on here ragging the chinese about their imitation cars, but then go on holidays to bali every year and buy 50 or so 2-dollar pirated dvds :p

    DON’T LIE! 😀

  • Grant

    i think there is a big difference in a design team being influenced by another cars exterior features/current market trends (such as flared wheel arches, big shoulders of a VE commodore from a BF falcon) and that of blatantly copying almost every aspect of a design (even the two-tone paint scheme)

    thats the point some of you are missing.

    making cheaper, uglier, less safe, underpowered knock-offs is what chinese car makers seem to do best

  • Steven

    I think the two cars look differently. The design similarity is happening now among all the car manufacturers. Referring, rather than copying, is more appropriate. On the other hand, the two cars will be sold by different dealers and under different brands. So a customer will not be misguided when he/she wants to buy a car. Price, safety and quality will be the main factors for customers, and this sort of mini car is popular in European countries. I think Martin Group knows about the car and must have certain confidence on this Chinese car, otherwise it will not introduce it to Europe. We should not judge a car, saying it is a ‘crap’, before we see further evidence or test results. Also, to so-called ‘missile’, being a ‘westerner’ is not something worth showing off. It does not mean you are smarter and richer than people living in other countries. China can design and develop long-range ballistic missiles, I am sure you will say the ballistic missiles are copies. ^_^. On this web site, we review cars only, please do NOT put your personal feeling about China and Chinese here.

  • ImportJap

    Visually, it’s similar, but not *that* similar. Remove the colour scheme or look at the red one. Front is different, has flared arches, a less severe bonnet slope, completely different windscreen shape and angle. It’s the same concept, and even inspired by the for2, but not the same car.

    The difference is underneath, rear mounted, rear drive engine. Ohh, and that the Bubble would outsell the heap that is the for2 in it’s target market.

  • Momo

    Hey Steven, if by your own words this site is about reviewing cars only, then why did you talk about Chinese developments of long-range ballistic missiles?

    Do you think that is relevant? I’m just curious.

  • Steven

    Hey Momo, it is just for fun, and used to support my argument. I am not discussing it in detail. Most part of my comment is talking about the car mentioned.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Steven ……….What sort of experience have you had in dealing with the Chinese in manufacturing?My personal feelings on the Chinese????More like my experience in dealing with them for 7 years…….as I have mentioned several times the Chinese have not only copied this car but when building it have tried to pass it off as a smart car! When have I said being a Westerner was smarter and richer.

    As far as the Martin Group……..all they see is a cheap car they can sell loads of! I guess we call this car CRAP because China has yet to make something that would pass our safety tests

    I’m with MOMO what has designing Missiles have to do with anything????????

  • Tonyn

    give me a pound of what steven is smoking….. these cars are virtually identical, its like them building a harbour bridge in shanghai!

  • Steven

    To ‘missile’, if you dislike Chinese products so much, why don’t you look for other suppliers? The reason is simple; you cannot find a better supplier than Chinese, as mentioned on your previous comments. ‘I wish Japan was still cheap to produce our product with………..I would be with them in a second!!!!!!!!As most others..’ What a funny thing! That is your wish only! You say Chinese products are ‘crap’, but you still have to stick to them for seven years. I really feel sorry for you. You know they are ‘devil’, but you have to live with them. Mate, this is a commercial world. I think you are really out of touch. The reality is, in Australia, Chinese products are on our everyday life, TV, computers, cloths, communication equipments, etc. By the way, have these products passed your ‘safety test’?

    Regarding the Chinese missiles, you guys still do not get it. It is simply part of a debate.

  • Steven

    There is nothing wrong for Chinese to build a bridge in Shanghai, which is called ‘Harbour Bridge’, if they wish to do that. Different people have different opinions. Different cars cope with different requirements and conditions. I am not going to persuade other people to share the same opinion as mine. I am simply expressing my personal view: the two cars look differently, although there is some similarity. We can discuss a particular product, but it is not wise to mix it with personal feelings. Cheers.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Mate stop trying to defend the Chinese copying stuff……If you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing,marketing and quality control you would understand what it feels like to have your product blatantly copied! We take the risk they see it works and make a cheap inferior copy! Even when its patented design registered they will still try coping it.We have spend thousands of dollars in this country and others stopping copys of our product being sold……..even to the point of
    copy’s being crushed in the UK !

    We have moved our product several times but to move and constantly set up a new factory costs thousands so weighing up the devil you know and the devil you don’t is easier! Our product is a unique one and takes a special type of factory to produce, with only 4 other manufactures in the world doing the same as us ……….all have there product produced in China and have similar problems! To set up and produce our product in a developed Country obviously would put us out of the market…….hindsight is a wonderful thing ,would we have started what we do 7 years ago knowing what we know now………of course not but we have no choice but to continue fighting with the Chinese and their ways…….I am simply saying they need to stop coping products and start to develop their own!!

    I understand Daimlers position totally on this and I hope they nail them! I’m sure Daimler wouldn’t pursue it if they also didn’t think they had a case to defend…..don’t you think!!!

  • Bavarian Missile

    Aren’t you discussing your personal feelings here too though Steven!!!!!!!!!So I take it you think its ok for the Chinese to copy products that everyone else spends money on developing????? Fine have your opinion…..but it seems Damiler too think its wrong!

  • Tonyn

    The point i was trying to make about the harbour bridge is if they built a similar copy to ours, wouldnt you be upset? i cant see why the same uproar wouldnt be made with them coping others designe, the cars are very close you have to admit and its not the first car they have done it too….. i cant understand your point?

  • Bavarian Missile

    Here you go Steven,this was posted in July this year!

    FRANKFURT (XFN-ASIA) – German auto makers DaimlerChrysler and BMW have threatened legal action against Chinese rivals which they accuse of making copies of their own models, the Financial Times reported.

    DaimlerChrysler (nyse: DCX – news – people ) said it would consider unspecified legal action if Chinese manufacturer Shuanghuan Automobile showed its Noble (nyse: NE – news – people ), which the German group says resembles its Smart Fortwo, at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

    ‘We take intellectual property protection very seriously,’ a DaimlerChrysler spokesman said.

    ‘We decided to reserve the right to pursue legal action.’

    The London-based newspaper illustrated its story with pictures of the two models, which showed the Noble looking extremely similar in shape and design to the micro-sized Smart vehicle.

    BMW also said it was considering legal action against the importer of another Shuanghuan car — the CEO — which BMW claims resembles a previous version of its X5 sports utility vehicle which was discontinued in 2006.

    Steven how many other car manufactures in the world fight another on copying their product…….I can’t think of one except for the Chinese!

  • Steven

    I guess it is part of developing process for developing countries, learning, copying, and then start creating their own. Just like Japan in 1970’s and Korea in 1990’s. If you cannot afford to have your products made at your backyard, then you have to take the risks. Again, ‘Missile’, I feel sorry for you and your company. You have no control over your product and no choice. It looks like your company is teaching the Chinese how to make your products, but on the other hand hope they will forget what they have learned. Ha, do you think it will work? Mate, this is a real commercial world, very competitive. Let the court decide.

    Time for me to go surfing, wouldn’t you guys like a relaxing moment at beach? Cheers.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Agreed Steven…….let the court decide! We just shouldn’t have to spend money defending our designs thats what pisses me off! Maybe they will learn if more do take them to court…..I can only hope.

    A bit windy here in Perth to go to the beach…..may wash the cars and watch a DVD!! I couldn’t surf if I tried… balance or coordination!!

  • Momo

    Basically, Steven is China. Because his positioning is exactly the same. Trying to push the boundary of what is acceptable by law, always trying to find loop holes for the purpose to ripping off as much foreign intellectual properties as possible.

    His diversion into talking about Chinese ballistic missiles is not a joke because it was completely irrelevant and supports no valid arguments to speak of. It was more about a show of brute force in the absence of the ability to claim moral high ground in a debate. A bullying tactic that reflects a deeper sense of inferior complex.

    The Chinese knows exactly what copying is, funny in fact Steven admitted China is the Devil to deal with, a freudian slip?. All Steven is defending at the end of the day, is the excuse for China to keep raping and selling foreign IP for making money. No Steven, you have failed to make a single valid point other than that.

  • Momo

    Funny too, notice how Steven tried to Save Face by retreating to the beach?

    Very Chinese like LMAO!!!

  • Bavarian Missile

    Difficult to understand my hatred too coping I guess….unless you have faced it yourself! Saving face is a full time occupation in China……my other half is currently there again 3rd time in 6 weeks trying to differentiate between what their telling us in production and the cover up stories you constantly get! Have just put the s..ts up them by threatening to remove our tooling and projects from them……funny how cooperative they can be when you do that.
    I seriously wouldn’t recommend anyone goes into manufacturing in China!!

  • Steven

    To Momo, I don’t know how you understand other people’s words. First, when I used ‘Devil’, I used a quotation mark. Second, when I talked about ‘Chinese missile’, I used a smiling symbol – ^_^, because someone here has a nickname ‘Missile’. Why did you try to make it a political battleground and personal?

    On the other hand, is there any ruling concerning this ‘Bubble’ Car? If the court rules in favour of Daimler, then you have the legal ground to accuse the Chinese. But the court rules in favour of the Chinese car manufacturer, then how do you gain your so-called ‘moral ground’? You have the absolute right to express your opinion. It is easy to make accusation. But before knowing the court’s ruling, your accusation is simply your perception and personal views, without any legal support.

    To Momo and ‘Missile’, if you think the Chinese is copying your products, why don’t you launch a lawsuit against the Chinese manufacturer in Australia and China, just like Daimler, and preventing them to do that? If your company wins, then you will have 100% moral and legal support. I am not defending piracy, please do not make another false accusation here. What I want to say here is, if you want to get the upper hand, you got to stand up and fight. Let the court and law decide. If you cannot cope with the situation and face the challenge, then just go away. It is simply useless and not wise to keep bashing products made by foreign countries, without any legal ground. It only makes you sound like a loser.

    By the way, have you guys known the test result of this ‘Bubble’ car? If no, saying the car a ‘crap’ is another groundless accusation. Quoting a Hyundai marketing manager, it is ‘perception’, rather than ‘reality’. Whether you like it or not, the world is still going to China for their supplies. One of the proofs is that now China has $1.3 trillion foreign reserve, the world’s largest. Most of the money is earned from manufacturing export.

  • Momo

    Steven, Wow, a pretty long post, well researched, well written and carefully considered. So how long did it took you to write that garbage?

    So how’s the beach? Was it relaxing for you? A nice sunny afternoon isn’t it? Can you even swim mate?


    I’m gonna grab have another beer and relax, its nice to have a comedian to laugh at on a Sunday afternoon, so thank you for your performance, it’s been very entertaining.


  • Bavarian Missile

    Launching legal action in China is a waste of time……..You have to stop it getting into other countries as is Daimler are doing!
    We have already taken action in Australia but our intellectual property laws are pretty lame compared to that of Europe and the USA! If you can stop importers bringing knock offs in then China wont have a business in copying as importers will stop buying if they think their product is a direct knock off! Is that enough legal ground for you Steven? Do you think its right as manufacturers and designers we should have to defend our patents??? I am sure Daimler have enough proof to prove this is a blatant pass off and if not I hope that China think twice before trying again!
    Who sounds like the loser Steven?? How do I sound like a loser complaining about China copying our design registered products ……even down to the colours!! We have done all we can do to protect them !

    I wouldn’t count on Chinas economy Stephen …..there are spending more than they as a Country are earning…..buildings and Cities are booming with growth but it seems the Government are running out of money!! With every boom there is a bust believe, me its coming soon! Over the last few weeks the banks have stopped people taking money out of their accounts in China..more than likely so the Government can prop up some venture… the Olympics!

  • Andrew

    “I wouldn’t count on Chinas economy Stephen …..there are spending more than they as a Country are earning”

    China has a current account surplus of like 7% so I don’t know where you’re getting your facts from.

    Why is this discussion about China anyway? Daimler are suing a company for importing Shuanghuan automobiles. Learn to distinguish between a country/government and a company.

    For the record, from what I know of Australian intellectual property law, in Australia if the equivalent litigation proceeded then it would very likely fail.

  • Andrew

    Also, I think it’s really a cheap last ditch effort by Daimler to try and make some money from what can only be described as a total disaster (smart made losses of 5 billion between 2003-2006)

  • Bavarian Missile

    Where I get my facts from are the people that live there not some economist …..Governments have a great way of playing up their economys too other Countries especially China’s economy was bought up by Stephen not me!

    Andrew said ” For the record, from what I know of Australian intellectual property law, in Australia if the equivalent litigation proceeded then it would very likely fail.” Wrong not by my accounts in defending our products in Australia against copies.The passing off law is determined by the general public perception in the copy looking like the original! We won our case so I imagine if in Australia Daimler would too! Design registration is something totally different! Im not saying that the copy won’t end up being sold in Europe but it will be under Daimlers watchful eye determining what changes would be needed to be made before it could be sold! Normally it is the most money spent on lawyers that also determines a win! We all know that the Chinese wouldn’t want to spend money defending something they may lose anyway! Lets just see how the case goes ha!!

    I would think Daimler wouldn’t be receiving money from the law suit Andrew it will cost them too defend …….BIG BUCKS!!

  • Steven

    To ‘Missile’, you don’t need to count on Chinese economy. You are just an individual. But unfortunately, the Australian economy is relying heavily on Chinese economy at the moment. Just read the newspaper. I hope your prediction, ‘burst of China’, will not affect Australia in the future.

    Regardless which side wins the lawsuit, I think it is not a bad thing for both sides. If Daimler wins, then the result of the lawsuit will have a profound effect on Chinese car manufacturers. The Chinese will learn a lesson, as a result, they will start taking IP seriously, and start investing, creating and improving their products. If the Chinese car manufacturer wins, then it shows that Chinese manufactures start thinking globally. Consumers are the ultimate beneficiaries of a legal competition.

  • Bavarian Missile

    I think Americas economy is affecting ours more at the moment and will continue as always! They sneeze and we get a cold!

    Chinas economy will be in denial just like Americas has been for the last 6 years!

    Anyway in regard to the lawsuit yep I agree ……..!May just be a win win for us!

  • alec

    I can’t believe people on here actually think these two cars don’t look the same!!

    There are so many similarities: Doors, Side Window, Door Handles, B & C Pillars, Two Tone paint, Side Sills, Roof Profile, Wheel arches!! And this is only what we can see from the surface!!
    The main difference between the Smart and the Chinese rubbish is the smart has more of a Cab-Forward design and is probably a lot safer.

    And do you think teh Chinese car will pass the Moose Test??
    Doubt it!!

  • alec

    And the Chinese Cars a 4 Seater??
    Seriously.. for what.. KNOMES!!??

  • Tom

    The cars look similar, yes. Are they close enough to warrant anger? Perhaps.

    There are a few small cars out there, like the Fiat 500, Ford Ka and Nissan Micra that all look different, but aim for the same basic target.

    Having said that, the Smart is unique in its size and packaging and if you want to make a car that is just as small and still usable, how much different could you possibly make it?

    The courts will have to decide on rational arguments not purely on emotions or subjective assessments. However, part of the ruling will no doubt include public perception which makes me think the Chinese Bubble is about to be burst.

  • JT

    I heard some big Australian car dealers had already signed up to distribute and sell a Chinese-made light commercial vehicle here, probably late next year. It would be interesting to see if there is any lawsuit against them at that time. I reckon a lawsuit might be a good way to kill off a potential competitor?

  • Scott C

    Whether the profile is an exact copy or not its evident they copied the smart just by the colour coding. It makes it obvious thats what they were trying to do. My problem with these is the safety ratings. Most of these chinese cars shouldnt be allowed on an australian road and i hope they arent allowed.

    When you think about it carefully, who will buy chinese 12k cars etc? Young kids with little money to spend.. Do we want that demographic driving unsafe vehicles? I hope that a minimum ancap rating is incorporated into compliancing a vehicle for sale here. The new age barina shouldnt be on aussie roads! 2star safety?? It should be illegal…. Money should only govern so much..