After Chinese carmaker ’Great Wall’, presented the ’Peri’, a very close copy of the Fiat Panda, at the Beijing Motor Show last month, Fiat may sue Chinese rival.
De Bonis, marketing director of Eurasia Motor, Great Wall’s distributor in Italy said that the car was expected to go on sale in China by March or April 2007 and Italy sometime in the summer.
A Great Wall spokesman dismissed the possible threat of legal action, saying the automaker owned the proprietary technologies for all the vehicles it made."We don’t want to have a lawsuit with Fiat,"added De Bonis.
Yesterday, during an industrial union meeting in Turin, Fiat President, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo replied with a joke when he was asked for a comment on the news that Fiat Panda was being copied by Great Wall."They demonstrate they have good taste.We are proud of it because Panda is a car at world level,"said Montezemolo.
Peri’s dimensions are the same as the Panda’s, will be marketed with a 1.0 and 1.3 litre petrol engine and has ABS brakes and air bags wich makes the "city car" one of the most safety vehicles currently being built by a Chinese carmaker.
In the Italian market Great Wall arrived a year ago, and has now signed up 90 dealers, a total which it plans to increase to 110 during the next six months. It brought 500 Hover sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to the country in October with plans to bring another 500-700 next March.
It is at the moment exclusively importing SUV models to Italy, with the first batch arriving in the showrooms during the last few weeks. At the moment it builds pickups, SUVs, CUVs, motor-homes and other special vehicles, in China.
Great Wall Motor has exported to more than 100 countries and regions arround Africa, Mildest, Central and South America, Caribbean, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Russia and East Europe.