Design rip-offs in India : Copycats or Inspired

These are the words of BHPian saikarthik.

The whole world knows about the Chinese copy cats of the famous brands ranging from cars to military aircraft, and no surprise there.

When it comes to the global and Indian market, there are few examples of complete Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V models and few where certain design elements from famous cars were replicated on new and lower segment cars. Some people argue that they are inspired and some say it's a rip-off.

We notice some prominent replication every now and then. Sometimes have a debate to bash out and sometimes forgive/forget to.

But I have not seen anywhere that these are consolidated or classified.

Let me try to classify or segregate some of the types that I have encountered with examples.


It's one thing to get inspired from some form and it is quite another to just copy the whole silhouette. These are direct rip-offs in my opinion trying to take the advantage of competitor's complete design language.

Best example that I could find is that of Maruti Suzuki Ciaz's compared to the Honda City's and Toyota Innova's to the Mahindra Marazzo's silhouettes, though some rounding off of edges and creases, dimensions are different.

Exterior Design Elements

Taking a prominent design feature of certain cars:

  • The front grille theme or the intricate detailing of the grille elements - like the similarities of the Lodgy Stepway and Mahindra XUV5OO or the infamous universal inspiration of the hexagonal/oval grilles from Aston Martin to almost all new cars.
  • Lamps: Lights are key differentiators and are considered unique jewels of car makers, yet we see some are similar. Ciaz's tail lamp profile to that of City's is one such case that I can think of, and a few fog lamp bezel elements/DRLs of other cars.

Interior Design Elements

Just like the exterior part, the design of the dashboard elements, aircon vents, finish patterns are replicated. Example: The hexagonal aircon vents of an expensive Lamborghini is found on the recent Nissan Magnite.

HMI - Display and Switches

Though these are interior elements, but require special mention as they relate to the user touchpoints and experience.

What else comes to your minds in this aspect? Do you think these are direct rip-offs or just a common design language due to some inspiration?

Redlining the Indian Scene