The British automaker has decided to take some legal actions against China’s Jiangling Motor for cloning JLR’s Evoque SUV.
This is not any breaking news, as the Chinese are well known for copying any sort of product that draw their attention. The local carmakers make no exception from that rule, with plenty of examples of such auto copycats. China’s Jiangling Motor, which has a commercial vehicle joint venture with Ford, surprised the local audience back in November 2014 at the Guangzhou Auto Show when it displayed the Landwind X7 sport utility vehicle.
And the bewilderment was not triggered by an unprecedented piece of motoring craftsmanship, but by the model’s striking resemblance to the Range Rover Evoque, at a third of the original’s price. JLR’s executives were evidently not very enthusiastic, but they did not take legal actions as China’s intellectual-property laws have always been ambiguous and such a lawsuit could be dragged for years and years with little chances of success.
The following year, Jiangling annoyed once again the British company by bringing in the Landwind X7 at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. However, Jaguar Land Rover did not legally react. But now it seems its patience reached the limit and a court in Beijing’s eastern Chaoyang district “served Jiangling with newly filed actions surrounding copyright and unfair competition,” a person familiar with the matter has told Reuters, however without providing further details on all the claims.
According to the source, both companies are already discussing around the matter and have agreed that Landwind will not sell the X7 in Brazil, also having talks on what the Chinese maker can and cannot do in any X7 design update. But the main legal debate is around the Chinese market, where Jaguar Land Rover relies on Evoque to drive the brand’s sales. It will surely be a long lasting dispute. For example, Honda has managed to win a similar battle against a little-known local automaker for cloning the CR-V SUV, but it took 12 years to succeed and it was compensated with only 16 million yuan (2.43 million dollars).