After reports that both BMW and Daimler are intending to sue to prevent distribution of Chinese knock-offs of, respectively, the BMW X5 and the SmartForTwo manufactured by Daimler, the Chinese manufacturer who is doing the dirty work has proclaimed its innocence.
According to a public relations department statement from Shuanghaun Auto, the Chinese manufacturer, it’s Noble and CEO models are not copies of the German manufacturer’s products. “We don’t think our autos are identical. It’s only the media stirring things up,” it said.
Actually, that statement is accurate.
Neither BMW nor Daimler think the Chinese knock-offs are “identical.” They think they’re cheap counterfeits. Given the rapidly growing world-wide reputation for quality being achieved by Chinese products, the Noble and the CEO are also probably dangerous and might even be poisonous, too.
The battle against the knock-offs started when Shuanghaun’s German importer announced plans to display the knock-off of the Smart at the Frankfurt Auto Show opening next month and then begin selling the car in Germany. Daimler responded by threatening legal action. BMW then joined in, threatening legal action against the knock-off X5.
Shuanghaun’s spokesperson said that “his department” had not been informed of any plans to display its products at Frankfurt – a statement carefully designed to seem like a denial without actually denying anything. Their distributor’s announced plan is to sell the Noble at a price that is about half that of the SmartForTwo.
Both BMW and Daimler have joint venture arrangements with other Chinese automakers for production of their products in that country.
The miracle of modern Chinese automotive engineering is the one on the left. The SmartForTwo is on the right.