Chinese Clones - The Story of Soulless and Affordable Cars

The recession is over, automakers are back on their feet and yet, China remains one of the most, if not the most, important auto markets in the whole world.
Chinese Clones - The Story of Soulless and Affordable Cars 1 photo
The reasons are many, but we won't bring them into spotlight right now. No, China is now a very important player in the automotive industry and it fully deserves its place, that's for sure. But the Chinese auto sector has a less-known side that we all laugh about. And cry about. At the same time, that is.

Chinese clones, the full-scale replicas that are supposed to offer you that special feeling of driving a very expensive car at a much more affordable price. How's that possible? Well, it just is and this new breed of clones has been around for a while, but the real owners of the design can't do anything about it.

In just a few words, here's what happens. Let's suppose Ferrari launches a brand new model at a motor show on European soil. As always, a whole army of Chinese “journalists”, each armed with a small photo camera, attends the event to take pictures of the displayed models.

Obviously, Ferrari is one of the main attractions, so the Chinese guys shoot photos of every single part that can be seen with the naked eye. Back home, they export the photos and start designing their very own flavor of the car, obviously under a different name, but with a 99 percent similar design.

Are they allowed to sell it? They are. Can Ferrari do anything about it? No, they can't. How's that possible? In order to block a blatant copy of one of their models, the original manufacturers must register patents on Chinese soil, which are different from all the others they filed in other regions of the world. Obviously, many carmakers have already learned their lesson right now, so they act accordingly.

We're not going to make a top of the most laughable Chinese clones, but we're going to present you a few cases, just so you make sure that the original is the one that deserves all the credit. Chinese clones have no soul and, in most cases, they have no safety and no efficiency. Not in the last place, they barely make you feel like you're driving the car they are trying to copy.

And before jumping to the next page and read about the clones we were talking about, please have a look at the video below. This is what happens with a Chinese model during the safety tests. No comment.

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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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