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Old 7th March 2007, 17:37   #1
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Angry Don't just blame the Chinese, everybody out here's a copycat!!

Why do we always blame the Chinese car makers when they make a copy? The so-called established car makers also copy many styling cues from successful cars. Why is that nobody speaks a word against them??

For instance, Swift and New Fabia have borrowed styling elements from the new Mini especially the A,B,C pillar design...

Mini

Swift

Fabia

Also, the Chevy SRV a bit too similar to the Alfa Brera

Alfa Brera

SRV

The WagonR stingray is a straight copy of the Toyota Scion xB

Scion

WagonR

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many such other cases...

My question is that why do such manufacturers rarely get penalised and only smaller manufacturers like the Chinese get caught in lawsuits and stuff like that???

Isn't this discrimination / double standards??
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Old 7th March 2007, 17:45   #2
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Yeah, just realised that the Grande Punto Abarth has copied the Audi Grille. Suzuki too has copied it. The copycat list is going to go a bit too long.... it seems.
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Old 7th March 2007, 17:55   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salilpawar1 View Post
Why do we always blame the Chinese car makers when they make a copy? The so-called established car makers also copy many styling cues from successful cars. Why is that nobody speaks a word against them??My question is that why do such manufacturers rarely get penalised and only smaller manufacturers like the Chinese get caught in lawsuits and stuff like that???

Isn't this discrimination / double standards??
Actually, there are two possibilities:
  1. Being influenced/inspired by a particular design and then incorporating that in another design which has other elements too. These other elements may be original or influenced. (A + B + C = D)
  2. Simply copying a particular design. (A = D)
While the former is permissible, the latter isn't. Most of the Chinese copycat products belong to the latter category.

Another important factor to be kept in mind is the amount of heat/pinch felt by the owner of the original design. If the copycat product belongs to an altogether different market segment or territory that you aren't interested in, you may decide to ignore the infringing activity and save on legal and administrative costs.

Last edited by directinjection : 7th March 2007 at 17:58.
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Old 7th March 2007, 18:12   #4
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Also Salil in your first example the pillar treatments are something which are the "IN" thing in car design so they are more influences than outright copying. Like so many car companies are using the "Flame-Surfacing" idea first started by Chris Bangle of BMW but then again we can't call that copying , can we?

To give you an idea during the late '50's mostly all American Saloon/Family cars featured Winged rear-ends which were the fad in those days, so we can't say that they were copying each other.

You have to realise that at times some looks are in-fashion & that every manufacturer tries to intergrate them into their design but apart from that the rest of the design remain unique. This cannot be called copying.

Whereas, the Chinese are copying the Western car in whole (for eg. The Cherry which is a clone of the Matiz & there was another clone of the Phantom too!) and that is copying since a majority of the parts are similarly styled to make the car look similar to the other product & is sold for a considerably cheaper sum to make the deal even more attractive.
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Old 7th March 2007, 18:12   #5
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I would rather say, the so called "copied" cars are "inspired" by other cars. I do not see anything wrong in this practice.

Are not books, movies, cellphones etc etc insipred from another?? But when the chinese makes a bike called "GULSAR" a carbon copy of our own Pulsar, that what I term copycats.
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Old 7th March 2007, 18:24   #6
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Are not books, movies, cellphones etc etc insipred from another?? But when the chinese makes a bike called "GULSAR" a carbon copy of our own Pulsar, that what I term copycats.

Did they ? have they ???
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Old 7th March 2007, 18:27   #7
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@iraghava and directinjection...

The current A,B pillar style has been introduced by the Mini Designers. Don't they deserve the credit to be the sole proprietors of that design style....??

By the same logic, Hyundai should never be called a copycat because you see for the old sonata, they copied the front end from the mercs and the rear end of the jaguars. Similarly, for the new sonata the headlights are from the audi's and the rear is from the accord. Hyundai never copied a car completely from end to end.

Ok the swift,mini argument which you have put might be valid.... But what about the WagonR stingray.... isn't that a carbon copy or what???

Now a days if you all will observe that the bigger Chinese car makers have almost stopped plane jane copycats but even if a tiniest bit of their design has a passing resemblance to another car, motoring journos vociferously emphasise in their point.

Read any review of a Chinese car, it always starts with.. "This design is a copyof / it resembles to some XYZ car..."

To be honest, I hate Chinese cars but why is the automotive world turning them into a soft target.

Can't the other car makers with huge design "talent" and tons of money give us 100% genuine designs?

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Did they ? have they ???
Yes, they have.. Last heard Bajaj was going to sue them...

Last edited by adya33 : 7th March 2007 at 19:29.
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Old 7th March 2007, 18:30   #8
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Did they ? have they ???
Yes, already been discussed. Chk it out here (chinese pulsar)
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Old 7th March 2007, 22:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salilpawar1 View Post
My question is that why do such manufacturers rarely get penalised and only smaller manufacturers like the Chinese get caught in lawsuits and stuff like that???

Isn't this discrimination / double standards??

The first type of copying or Intellectual Property sharing is due to a legal understanding between 2 or more companies about sharing a model under respective brandings. You forgot to include in your examples the Opel Agila/Suzuki WagonR, Suzuki SX4/Fiat Sedici ...

As far as the Chinese copies go, its mandated under Chinese govt law that foreign manufacturers must tie-up with local companies and do a knowledge transfer whether they like it or not. There's nothing just and democratic abt that, I can assure you. Sooner than they can bat their eyelids, these foreign mfrs find there's a new venture started by their Chinese partner and curiously they're selling a "brand new car" that looks mysteriously like their own. All this and without R&D too!
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Old 8th March 2007, 08:27   #10
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Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
The first type of copying or Intellectual Property sharing is due to a legal understanding between 2 or more companies about sharing a model under respective brandings. You forgot to include in your examples the Opel Agila/Suzuki WagonR, Suzuki SX4/Fiat Sedici ...
I know the system you are talking about... Now Agila and WagonR.....also...SX4 and Sedici are same cars with virtually same mechanicals with slight differences. This is not at all copying. I am not protesting against such instances where intellectual property is legally shared. But AFAIK, there is no such understanding between Suzuki, BMW Mini and Skoda in that respect.

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Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
As far as the Chinese copies go, its mandated under Chinese govt law that foreign manufacturers must tie-up with local companies and do a knowledge transfer whether they like it or not. There's nothing just and democratic abt that, I can assure you. Sooner than they can bat their eyelids, these foreign mfrs find there's a new venture started by their Chinese partner and curiously they're selling a "brand new car" that looks mysteriously like their own. All this and without R&D too!
I am against this too...
I AM NOT SAYING THAT CHINESE ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING BY COPYING... THEY DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED.. BUT OTHER MANUFACTURERS ARE GUILTY TOO IN SOME WAY

Last edited by salilpawar1 : 8th March 2007 at 08:41.
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Old 8th March 2007, 08:39   #11
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Also Salil in your first example the pillar treatments are something which are the "IN" thing in car design so they are more influences than outright copying.

You have to realise that at times some looks are in-fashion & that every manufacturer tries to intergrate them into their design but apart from that the rest of the design remain unique. This cannot be called copying.
OK, The Swift and Mini are quite different from each other. But what about the Swift and Fabia??? The shape of the doors and windows is also same. The Fabia design is more of an enlarged Swift with redesigned front end... There is simply no argument about that......

Having said that, I will never call a Hyundai Santro to be a copy of the Suzuki WagonR because although both are tall boys, there is not a single design element common in them by which one can confuse a Wagon R with a Santro and vice versa.

Quote:
To give you an idea during the late '50's mostly all American Saloon/Family cars featured Winged rear-ends which were the fad in those days, so we can't say that they were copying each other.
We are living in the 21st century... not in the 1950's. Now there is no dearth of designers, softwares, moolah and so on. So there is no reason to depend on other manufacturers for "inspiration".
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Old 8th March 2007, 11:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salilpawar1 View Post
We are living in the 21st century... not in the 1950's. Now there is no dearth of designers, softwares, moolah and so on. So there is no reason to depend on other manufacturers for "inspiration".
There might not be any shortage of tools but there is still as much shortage of ORIGINAL IDEAS as there was in the 1950's. There are hundred of thousands of car designers working all over the world but how many times do you see really "ORIGINAL" designs coming up?

IMHO there are still very few original ideas produced but most designs are still either borrowed from the past (another really IN fad right now) or inspired by another design. But that's also how some people define design.

I'm not an expert on this, so Rehaan can explain this much better than me.
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Old 8th March 2007, 12:00   #13
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Mini leave it alone mate, its a class car, just as u said may be some pillars make look alike with the swift but its totally different from the Swift or rather the other way around
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Old 8th March 2007, 12:10   #14
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Originally Posted by salilpawar1 View Post
Yeah, just realised that the Grande Punto Abarth has copied the Audi Grille. Suzuki too has copied it. The copycat list is going to go a bit too long.... it seems.
Huh.. Grande Punto grille is widely acknowledged to be a bit like the Maserati style grille.. Maserati is owned by Fiat anyway.

Are you saying that, Giorgetto Guigiaro, the Grande Punto designer, is a copycat !!
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Old 8th March 2007, 12:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
There might not be any shortage of tools but there is still as much shortage of ORIGINAL IDEAS as there was in the 1950's. There are hundred of thousands of car designers working all over the world but how many times do you see really "ORIGINAL" designs coming up?

IMHO there are still very few original ideas produced but most designs are still either borrowed from the past (another really IN fad right now) or inspired by another design. But that's also how some people define design.

I'm not an expert on this, so Rehaan can explain this much better than me.
Well,

I agree with Iraghava here.

Though, in some cases the similarity might be intentional, and in others coincedental.

Its very very VERY VERY hard to design something that hasn't already been done before or is very different from anything done before, especially in a market with restrictions on freedom of design like the auto industry....

I am no expert in this either, but i can tell you that, say for example 15 very creative and whacky people spend 2months designing a chair each, then, 5 days and fifteen internet links later it turns out that ridiculously similar chairs already exist for each one of the fifteen.
This happens all the time. I feel like our world is reaching some sort of creative saturation point, especially with the internet serving as one huge and current archive.

cya
R
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