Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motor has released a strongly worded declaration that a series of expertly rendered vehicles purported to be a preview of its future line-up are, in fact, not authentic.
In a statement released today, the company said: “Any alleged concept design images mentioned over the internet are NOT related to WM Motor to any extent.”
“WM Motor will not hesitate to take immediate legal actions against those ungrounded reports or distributions should they cause defamation, infringement or any other harm to WM Motor.”
The statement follows the discovery by EV enthusiast website Electrek that at least one of the vehicles, although cleanly crafted, appears to have used images of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S.
Although Electrek misidentified the starting point as the regular Outlander PHEV, one thing is clear: the backdrops in each scene of the rendered SUV are identical to those used for the Mitsubishi concept, and the wheels are likewise the same.
Other similarities include the roof, pillars, door handles, mirrors and the front half of the glasshouse.
Although significant, that appears to be the extent of the similarities, with the WM Motor (now alleged to be of unknown origin) wearing a more unique look at the very rear and from the belt-line down.
The other two models in the artworks, a sedan and a smaller SUV, look to have no connection to the larger Outlander-based SUV images.
Interestingly, as enthusiast site Jalopnik notes, the images had been circulating in the Chinese press for at least one week before hitting western media.
The timing of events suggests it was not until Electrek published the now-alleged WM Motor images alongside the Outlander concept that the Chinese company made its announcement.
The origin of these images now seems unclear, and time will tell if the company’s confirmed EV range will bear any resemblance to the artwork shown here.
The company’s full statement is below.
We here refer to the recent alleged concept design images of WM Motor distributed over the Internet.
As an innovative electric vehicle company, WM Motor has always been paying extra attention to defenses and protections of our intellectual properties. The design process for WM Motor is strictly confidential. We have completed most of the contractual arrangements with our supplying partners. The construction for our first intelligent industry park for WM Motor’s electric vehicles has already started at Oujiangkou District, Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province of China. The construction site will occupy approximately 165 acres. Our first EV product will be launched in 2018. We are pleased to announce all related works have been progressing timely. WM Motors independently owns the intellectual properties that are related to its innovations and products.
Any alleged concept design images mentioned over the internet are NOT related to WM Motor to any extent. WM Motor will not hesitate to take immediate legal actions against those ungrounded reports or distributions should they cause defamation, infringement or any other harm to WM Motor.
We hereby confirm that all official updates will be firstly released at our official homepage http://www.wm-motor.com. We sincerely thank you for your attentions!
WM Motor Technology Co., Ltd.
2nd December 2016