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Courtroom Face-off Ends in a Win for Jaguar Land Rover; China Declares the Landwind X7 a Copycat

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By on March 22, 2019

A legal battle waged since 2016 ended with a historic win for Jaguar Land Rover on Friday. In 2015, China’s Jiangling Motor Corporation debuted the Landwind X7, a compact crossover that looked a lot like the Range Rover Evoque. Okay, not “a lot” — the near was damn near identical, but priced well below the Brit. (That’s a refreshed 2018 X7 you see above; the first was even closer to its muse.)

The Evoque’s doppelganger wasn’t a unique phenomenon, either. Chinese copycat vehicles had become a scourge for foreign automakers operating in that market, and, based on past cases, few expected JLR’s lawsuit to get much traction in the Chinese courts. They were wrong.

As Autocar reports, the Chinese court ultimately ruled in JLR’s favor — “first in the global car industry,” JLR claims.

The decision rendered by the Beijing Chaoyang District Court stated that the Evoque contained five features that Jiangling directly copied when crafting the Landwind X7. It added that this sparked widespread consumer confusion. Two almost identical vehicles boasting similar engines, but one carried a price one-third that of the Range Rover. Just imagine trying to sell that Evoque in Shanghai.

As a result of the ruling, X7 manufacturing and sales must cease immediately, and JLR can expect a big compensation check from its overseas admirer.

Jaguar Land Rover claimed the ruling will bolster confidence in foreign automakers looking to invest in the country.

“This ruling is a clear sign of the law being implemented appropriately to protect consumers and uphold their rights so that they are not confused or misled, whilst protecting business investment in design and innovation,” said Keith Benjamin, JLR’s global head of legal.

As the case made its way through the Chinese legal system, JLR went about making its own changes to the Evoque. There’s an all-new version for 2020, and this time it won’t face competition from its Chinese twin.

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover, Jiangling Motor Corporation]

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