Chinese car maker LandWind unveiled its new vehicle at a motor show in China last week, provoking an angry response from British manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, which says the car is the spitting image of the Range Rover Evoque.
The £14,000 ($22,000) Chinese LandWind X7 was, in fact, a copy of the hugely popular U.K.-designed “baby” off-roader, and a fraction of the price, the Daily Mail reports.
Land Rover has just opened its first car factory in China in a venture with local firm Chery, a government-owned corporation.
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Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Dr. Ralf Speth, spoke out against the LandWind X7, telling Autocar magazine:
“The fact that this kind of copying is ongoing in China is very disappointing. The intellectual property (IP) is owned by Jaguar Land Rover and if you break that IP then you are in breach of international regulations.
"As a company we have invested heavily in China with our joint venture partner Chery. That commitment is based on a clear business plan, that allows us to hit our sales targets at clear prices. Anything that damages the potential profitability of our plant damages the integrity of those plans.
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"I will talk to our officials and I will talk to our partners at Chery to find a way around this situation. I cannot imagine Chinese officials will be happy at any actions that undermine the credibility of the country. What we have seen today is not correct."
LandWind is a joint venture between two large Chinese car makers Jiangling Motors Corporation and Changan Auto, which produces two million cars a year and works in other joint ventures with Ford, PSA Peugeot Citron and Suzuki.
Jaguar Land Rover may take legal action to protect its £40,000-plus ($62,700) Evoque.