Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth has called on Chinese car buyers to stop buying cars with copycat designs such as the Land Wind X7.
Speth last week expressed the company’s ire at ripoff designs that it has little power to stop in the courts. Copyright laws vary between countries.
“China, from my point of view, has enough creativity and engineering power to do something on its own and doesn’t have to fall back to the time when copying was of interest,” Speth told Autocar India.
“I hope the Chinese customer at the end of the day sees the difference and selects the real product and not a copied one. We hope they generate a self-regulation process so that they can get rid of this kind of copy/paste way of working.”
At the time of the X7’s reveal late last year, Speth indicated that his company, and its local joint venture partner Chery, would file a complaint with the relevant Chinese authorities.
Plan B appears to be a request to the Chinese middle class to eschew ripoffs and go for the real thing.
Chinese manufacturers are infamous for creating copy cars. Some of the better-known knock-offs include the BYD S8 Coupe (Mercedes-Benz CLK), Chery QQ (Daewoo Matiz), Shuanghuan Noble (Smart Fortwo) and the Lifan 320 (Mini Cooper).
There’s also the more recent example of the JAC 4R3, which ‘borrowed’ from the Ford F-150.
The Land Wind brand is a joint venture between Changan Auto and Jiangling Motors Corporation. Changan currently produces cars in conjunction with Ford, Suzuki and PSA Peugeot Citroen, while Jiangling is part owned by Ford and mainly concentrates on commercial vehicles.
The X7 will initially be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with about 142kW of power, which will be matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Later versions will be available with a 1.8-litre turbo, all-wheel drive and an electronic differential lock.
According to CarNewsChina, the Land Wind X7 should be priced from around 120,000 yuan ($25,100). That’s substantially less than the entry-level Evoque, which can set Chinese buyers back 448,000 yuan ($93,700) without any options.