Chinese Companies Build Knockoffs of Popular Cars

Everyone knows that when you want imitations of designer purses or sunglasses, you head to China Town. Now you can turn to the Chinese for knockoff products that won’t fit in the trunk of a car. 

Chinese motor companies have been selling clones of Japanese motorcycles for some time. Often times the two models will have interchangeable parts.  The newest trend is to copy the styling of popular cars and SUVs and sell them for much less than the original. 

The Mercedes-Benz CLK, BMW X5, MINI Cooper, Scion XB, Smart Fortwo and Daewoo Matiz are some of the cars that have been copied. Most of the time, the cars are a pretty poor imitation, but the X5 copy has close enough styling that it is banned in Germany and the Chinese version of the Daewoo Matiz has doors that can be interchanged with the original.  

The copies usually feature much weaker engines than the original.  The BMW X5 clone’s only engine is a 100-hp four cylinder where the original is available with a 350-hp V8. The only clone that really improves on the original is the Scion XB knockoff, named the Greatwall Coolbear. With a name that evokes imagery of a Panda relaxing on the Great Wall with an umbrella-garnished drink, Scion is in trouble if the Coolbear is ever sold here.


The Mercedez-Benz CLK (bottom picture) and the Byd F8 look almost identical.

Photo Via Fortune