Sunday, December 02, 2007

China Auto Controversy in Europe

The trucks were widely panned at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show in September as being shameless copies of the BMW X5 and Toyota RAV4. China Auto's vehicles seemed to draw more attention from corporate lawyers than any potential customers. Plans to import the Smart Fortwo-aping Noble city car have already been put on indefinite hold following legal threats from Smart's parent company, Mercedes-Benz. The Noble was a notable no-show in Frankfurt.

However, Karl Schlössel, chief executive of Augsburg-based China Automobile, recently told Inside Line that 1,700 vehicles will soon be arriving from China and for sale in Europe by early to mid-December. Built by Shuanghuan Automobile in Shijiazhuang, China, the CEO and UFO are sold in their home market as the Shuanghuan SCEO and the Laibao.

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