It appears that the term copyright infringement has no bearing in China, as suggested by the number of Chinese cars that are blatant knock offs of popular global models. What's even more shocking is that several of these automakers are state-owned!
Almost all the cars that have their roots in China 'derive inspiration' from one or more models of global manufacturers but in the interest of keeping this article short only 10 copycats are featured.
1. Mingjun M3 S1
The Land Rover Freelander 2 is all set to be replaced by the Discover Sport next year but the aging British SUV will have an imitator in China in the form of the Mingjun M3 S1. Of course one could buy about half a dozen of M3 S1s for the Freelander 2's money. [Image: Auto Sohu]
2. Diablo VT
This one not only shamelessly copies the legendary Lamborghini Diablo's design but also its name! Only difference is, here Diablo Auto is the name of the company which claims to be the "first supercar builder in China" and VT is the name of the so called supercar. Chassis is hand welded, body panels are made of fibre glass and the engine is a Toyota V8 serving home to some 450 horses. [Image: Carnewschina.com]
3. Hengtian T3
Those angular headlamps, twin-slat chrome grille, bumper and the stance, all sum up to be a faithful reproduction of the VW Amarok.
4. BYD S6
Not enough money to afford a Lexus 350S? Worry not, says the BYD S6. There are even cases where the S6 owners "convert" it into a Lexus by replacing BYD badges with the Toyota-owned luxury brand's badges!
5. Qingdao Soar Automobile's wedding car
Body work of a 1961 Rolls Royce Phantom, chassis from a Great Wall SUV (stretched) and engine from a Mitsubishi give you the Qingdao Soar Automobile's wedding car that can spook the original Phantom. [Image: Carnewschina.com]
6. Kawei Auto K1
The VW Amarok is not the only pickup truck that was victimized by the Chinese automakers, the Ford F150 fell prey too. The Kawei K1 looks every bit like the F150 and guess what, the company even exports the 'brawny' pickup to some African and Middle Eastern nations.
7. BAIC C90L
With the C90L V12 luxury saloon, Beijing Auto aspires to become the first premium Chinese automaker. And that is precisely why the concept's fastback rear looks a lot like that of the Bentley Continental GT. [Image: Yiche.com]
8. BAIC Luba
To put it in a single short sentence, the BAIC Luba is a poor man's Toyota Land Cruiser (previous generation).
9. Dongfeng EQ2050
With the country's penchant for SUVs, there is no chance for the Hummer H3 to escape being replicated. The Donfeng EQ2050 is a reverse engineered Humvee which is even said to have a few American components. [Image: Auto Express]
10. Lifan 320
Should we even tell you where the design inspiration comes from?