The Chinese car market is brimmed with small, affordable run-arounds that are best suited for city driving, fitting through tight streets and making parking as easy as possible. However, those living outside of major cities are less inclined to care about vehicle size, which is where most of the demand lies for 'copycat' cars styled strikingly similar to popular Western models. Copying isn't just exclusive to the motor industry though, even other enormous brands recieve the copy & paste treatment, such as Apple - there are entire stores in China that directly mirror that of a traditional Apple store, but everything on sale is just a knock-off.
Landwind X7 / Range Rover Evoque
The Landwind X7 is one of the most painstakingly obvious cases of a carbon copy, you don't have to look hard until you start seeing a Range Rover Evoque. On sale for roughly £14,000 the X7 managed to make it to the market despite Jaguar Land Rover taking legal action against them. They were however unsuccessful, due to the way intellectual property law works in China - if a design is showcased at a state sanctioned motor show, the car must be registered within 6 months, otherwise it's fair game for rival manufacturers to take influence for their own designs.
Hanteng Electric Concept / Jaguar I-Pace
The Hanteng Electric concept is one of the more recent offenders, seemingly inspired by the likes of the new Jaguar I-Pace, mixed with Volvo-esque alloys and badging, though we don't expect the safety technology to be anywhere near as good! While this car isn't as obvious as a copy as others, the fact that it's an EV with an enormous yet distinctive grille, it's a tad obvious where their design team got their ideas.
Zotye SR9 / Porsche Macan
Another contorversial model is the Zotye SR9, on top of looking near enough identical to a Porsche Macan, the model uses a 2.0L turbo petrol engine with 187 horsepower made by Mitsubishi, with plans for a plug-in hybrid variant in the near future. Despite the close resemblance to the Macan, Porsche still haven't attempted any form of legal action towards Zotye since the car went on show in 2016.
It's Not Just The Cars...
Speaking of badges - even manufacturer logos can't escape being copied, with BYD Auto taking an awful lot of inspiration from the BMW logo back in 1995! These days, BYD trades under a new logo, which now resembles the Kia logo! A little bit closer to home than Germany we suppose...
Some taxi drivers/tour guides will place fake manufacturer badges onto their cars in order to attract more business, due to the perception of Western vehicles being premium and well-built, tourists are lulled into false sense of security by assuming the level of quality when glancing at a familiar badge when looking for transport. Due to the lack of mandatory vehicle safety laws, some of these Chinese-made cars lack basic safety technology such as an anti-lock braking system. Popular Youtuber Serpentza sums this up pretty well in the video below: