Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is suing Chinese automaker Jiangling Motor Co (江鈴汽車) for allegedly copying the British firm’s Range Rover Evoque, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said — a rare move by a foreign automaker to fight copycats in the world’s largest autos market.
A spokesman for JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors Ltd, said in brief e-mailed comments to reporters that a court in Beijing’s eastern Chaoyang District “served Jiangling with newly filed actions surrounding copyright and unfair competition.”
He declined to elaborate.
The suit relates to Jiangling’s Landwind X7 sport utility vehicle (SUV) copying the design of the Evoque, JLR’s first China-made model that went on sale last year, said the person with knowledge of the legal proceedings.
A spokesman for Landwind declined to comment.
Despite widespread and often blatant copying, global automakers generally do not take legal action in China, as they feel the odds of winning against local firms are low. Also, a lawsuit can be bad for branding if the Chinese public think a foreign company is bullying domestic competitors.
If JLR wins its case, it could prompt other automakers to also take legal action, said Chen Jihong (陳際紅), a Beijing-based lawyer at Zhong Lun Law Firm (中倫律師事務所), speeding up a shift to stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Landwind unveiled a new version of its X7 SUV in November 2014, drawing criticism for its striking likeness to the Evoque, an imported version of which was already on sale in China.
The two SUVs have a similar shape, with the roof and windows tapering from front to back, and near identical tail lights and character lines on the side paneling. The X7’s front grille is slightly more rounded than the hard edges of the Evoque.
The slight differences between the two cars can be virtually eliminated using widely available kits that allow a Range Rover grille, logo and Land Rover badges to be put on an X7. Kits on Alibaba’s Taobao shopping Web site cost about 128 yuan (US$19.49).
The X7 costs about a third of the price of an Evoque, and is some way behind in technology and performance, Automotive Foresight managing director Yale Zhang (張豫) said.
JLR and Jiangling have agreed that Landwind will not sell the X7 in Brazil, the source said, where it recently appointed an importer. The two automakers are also discussing what Landwind can and can not do in any X7 design update, the person said.
JLR sales fell by a fifth in China in January to March last year — when it launched its China-made Evoque — after rising 36 percent in the same period the previous year. In the same period this year, JLR’s China sales rose 19 percent.
It took Honda Motor Co 12 years to win a case in China against a little-known local automaker — for copying its best-selling CR-V SUV — according to Xinhua news agency reports.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
NERVOUS MARKET: With the infection sources still unknown for three COVID-19 cases that had departed Taiwan, investors have become uneasy, an analyst said Local shares yesterday came under heavy downward pressure, falling more than 1 percent as renewed fears over a possible increase in domestic COVID-19 infections hit market sentiment after the nation last week reported a case related to a Belgian national. Selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which pushed down the broader market as investors ignored gains posted by tech heavyweights on the US market at the end of last week, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 151.77 points, or 1.2 percent, at 12,513.03, on turnover of NT$231.43 billion (US$7.84 billion). Foreign