Design

Land Rover Finally Has A Plan To Combat Chinese Copycats

But you're not gonna like it.

Take a look at the Range Rover Evoque. Now look at the Landwind X7. Look pretty similar, don’t they? Indeed, and Land Rover sued Landwind over copyright infringement because of it. Chinese automakers directly copying/stealing designs from their Western competitors isn’t a new phenomenon, but Jaguar Land Rover was the first to take legal action. Problem is, it’s very difficult to stop those Chinese brands and Chinese courts aren’t exactly the friendliest to outsiders. What can JLR do? No concepts.

Speaking to Autocar, Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern stated that "We’re nervous about showing show cars a couple of years out as you can be copied just like that." Because concept cars are just one part of the huge investment required for any new model, which could reach anywhere from 500 million GBP to 1 billion GBP, that investment must be protected. Avoiding concepts altogether eliminates just about any chance of designs being copied. In case you haven’t noticed, Land Rover hasn’t done many design-focused concepts since 2011, the year it revealed the Defender DC100 concepts.

Although neither concept directly previews the upcoming reborn Defender, the chances of us seeing a second concept that more accurately shows the final design direction is practically zero. It’d be copied by someone, somewhere (likely China) nearly right away. Remember, there was no concept version of the new Velar before its debut last March at Geneva. If this non-concept plan works for Land Rover, and it likely will, it’s entirely possible other premium brands will follow suit. Great design cost lots of money after all.

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