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PHOTO CAPTION: Jinma JWM 2200 low-speed electric car with front grill that 'borrows' heavily from BMW i3.

China Low-Speed EVs Copy Western Models

It wasn't that long ago that a Chinese carmaker pretty much copied Daimler's smart-for-two micro car. Now two other manufacturers are following suit with BMW and VW-like designs.

Published: 03-Apr-2015

Western carmakers go to great pains and expense to create and maintain identifiable brands, not just in their logos, but right down to the design of the cars: think of the superfluous exhaust vents on GM's Buick car line or the kidney-shaped grill on BMWs. And is there anymore iconic representation of Volkswagen than the famed Beetle?

So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that in the highly competitive Chinese auto market that aggressive manufacturers would seek a sales advantage by copying successful Western designs, a trend that started a decade ago when a Chinese company essentially copied Daimler's smart-for-two microcar in almost exact detail.

Now two more examples of design plagiarism recently emerged at Shandong EV Expo. The 'Beetle-styled' low-speed electric car not only looks similar to the VW model, but the company logo looks like a knock-off of Nissan's. Called the VIDOEV, it is slated to do into production later this year, according to World Car Fans. The four-door electric car is powered by a 20 kW (27hp) electric motor. Performance data and pricing weren't announced.

Knockoff of VW Beetle
VIDEO low-speed electric car would likely be offered in both lead-acid and lithium battery verisons.

At the same EV Expo, Jinma introduced its tiny JWM 2200, another low-speed electric car who clearly decided that the grill of the car needed to closely resemble that on BMW's new i3 electric car. The rest of the car is clearly distinctive from that of the German model. However, the similarities to BMW don't end with the grill. In Chinese Jinma means 'Golden Horse." BMW's Chinese name is "Baoma," which means 'Treasure Horse.' Coincidence?

Jinma JMW 2200 low-speed electric car
Jinma JMW 2200 low-speed electric car

And in the interest of transparency, the photos for this story were 'borrowed' from CarNewsChina.com.

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