Land Rover is suing Chinese Automaker Jiangling Motors in what is possible a no win suicide mission even members of the Islamic State would avoid taking on. Let me tell you why. Most large corporations in China are state owned. If they are not officially state owned then they are most likely filled with current or ex communist state officials.
The reason why Land Rover is suing Jiangling Motors is for breach of copyright over the Jiangling produced Landwing X7. The Landwind X7 is an unashamed copy of the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover have had enough.
The Landwind X7 is sold in China for around a third of the retail value of a Range Rover Evoque, and its also a third of the car. However the British have an historical image problem in China and it relates to how the once powerful nation bullied and stole Chinese territory, notably Hong Kong.
The Chinese people may take offence to what they may see as a former imperialist bully resuming old predatory practices. In addition it’s very rare that any foreign company filing a law suit against a Chinese company in China will actually end up winning.
The last car manufacture to sue a Chinese company for breach of copyright did win its law suit. However it took 12 years for a successful outcome to emerge. Honda probably spent vastly more on laywer fees then it was awarded in compensation.
The communist Chinese state may have embraced capitalism but the freedom to sue is merely the illusion of democracy offered to gullible Western corporations. For the Chinese this isn’t about copyright infringement it’s more about showing the strength of communist China.
So this is a battle that Land Rover will lose. However Land Rover’s lawyers have had some success in halting the Landwind X7’s international sales ambitions. Jiangling has been barred from selling the X7 in Brazil.
Jaguar wants to claim it’s own 4×4 niche in China and has even setup a production facility in the country to manufacture a China-built Evoque. Land Rover’s sales in China have been on a bit of a rollercoster ride over the last three years.
However 2016 has seen Land Rover sales rise, due in part to a returning consumer confidence but the Chinese state may take Land Rover’s action as an insult. And believe me Land Rover have plenty of individuals who are notable for insulting people for personal amusement.