"Cloning" in the automotive industry has been going on for quite some time now and there is no other place in the world where that is more apparent than the People's Republic of China.
From the Laibao SR-V (a Honda CR-V clone) to the Shuanghuan SCEO (a BMW X5 clone), China has a very long tradition of copying cars from established foreign automotive brands. Such is the way of their automotive industry there but the Chinese courts don't always see that, if not at all.
With the recent opening of Auto Shanghai 2015, we take a look at some of the latest "foreign-inspired" cars that have taken to the motor show floor.
Can you take a guess what this car's based on? The BAIC BJ8C appears to be a Mercedes Benz G-Class but ended up getting Jeep's classic slotted grill in the front. The box arches and upright glasshouse makes it a dead ringer for the good old G-Class, big wheels, bling and all.
Don't let the E30 name fool you. This is no BMW E30 clone. Instead, the E30 electric vehicle bears a very close resemblance to the Smart ForTwo with its dimensions and particularly its color scheme.
This is a car that lifts its name straight from the car it was "inspired" from. While not as sharp looking as the Audi counterpart, the JAC A6 quite possibly took some cues from Audi's popular midsize executive with its big grille, kicked up headlights towards the center and the third window on the side.
What you're looking at isn't Kia's popular Picanto but instead, it's the Yogomo 330. While there is no word on a Yogomo-Kia deal, Yogomo at lease made an effort to change the Kia badges on their own and replace Kia's "Tiger Nose" grill with one of their own.
For many who wrote about the clone wars in Shanghai, this was the winner for them. From its blacked out A-pillars to its sloping roofline, the designers most probably had a sheet of tracing paper and a Range Rover Evoque brochure. It even features the same signature clamshell hood and the same font applied on Landwind for the leading edge of the hood.
So there you have it, five clones in various degrees of execution. From a passing resemblance to eerie similarities, the clone-heavy Chinese auto industry will always be a source of headaches for manufactures but a constant source of amusement for us.