Report: Land Rover to lodge complaint with China over LandWind’s Evoque copycat

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LandWind X7

Despite its position as a communist state, the People’s Republic of China has taken a decidedly laissez-faire attitude towards copyright infringement. It’s why, as evidenced in an old episode of Top Gear, you can buy a fake Omega, wear fake Ray-Bans, talk on a fake iPhone and drink at a fake Starbucks. It’s also why Chinese automakers so shamelessly rip off the designs of western automobiles (exhibits A, B, C, D and E). Land Rover is the latest automaker to take exception to this practice.

The Indian-owned, British-made off-road brand is calling out the Chinese over the LandWind X7 which, like all good fakes, is a remarkably close approximation of the real thing, that goes for a lot less money. In this case, the Range Rover Evoque, which the X7 apes, sells for 40,000 pounds ($62,000 at today’s rates) Autocar reports, while the Chinese version will retail for a meager 14,000 quid ($22,000).

With the X7 making its debut at the Guangzhou Motor Show, Land Rover Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ralf Speth opted to take a strong stance, issuing a resolute statement against LandWind’s new SUV to Autocar:

“The fact that this kind of copying is ongoing in China is very disappointing. The simple principal is that it is not something that should happen; the intellectual property is owned by Jaguar Land Rover and if you break that IP then you are in breach of international regulations that apply around the world.

As a company we have invested heavily in China with our joint venture partner Chery. That commitment is based on a clear business plan, that allows us to hit our sales targets at clear prices. Anything that damages the potential profitability of our plant damages the integrity of those plans.

I will talk to our officials and I will talk to our partners at Chery to find a way around this situation. I cannot imagine Chinese officials will be happy at any actions that undermine the credibility of the country. What we have seen today is not correct.”

According to Autocar, LandWind is a joint venture between two of China’s larger automakers – Changan Auto and Jiangling Motors – which count Peugeot-Citroen and Ford as their JV partners, respectively. It’s unclear how, or even if, any action by Land Rover could impact the two Chinese companies’ partners.

Land Rover to lodge complaint with China over LandWind’s Evoque copycat originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Feds chastise Marchionne over Jeep recall, only 13% repaired so far

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Jeep Grand Cherokee

Following the significant outcry surrounding the General Motors and Takata airbag safety crises this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seems to be taking a much more aggressive role in pushing owners to repair their recalled vehicles. In the agency’s latest move, it’s urging Jeep drivers to get their models fixed. Acting NHTSA administrator David Friedman even sent a letter to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne pressing him to get more of the SUVs fixed.

The problem goes back to the recall of the 2002-2007 Liberty and 1993-1998 Grand Cherokee because of the possibility for the fuel tank to rupture in some rear crashes. The campaign affected over 1.5 million vehicles, but Chrysler initially refused NHTSA’s request for a repair campaign. The automaker eventually came up with a fix that involved adding a trailer hitch to provide extra protection to the tank. The feds believe the danger “will be reduced by the remedy now offered by Chrysler,” according to the statement.

However, this latest push comes out of NHTSA’s concern that only three percent of the affected vehicles are repaired, although Chrysler maintains some 13.4 percent have actually been fixed. The agency is asking the automaker to reach out to owners “proactively,” and get them to bring the Jeeps in dealers. According to the the feds’ statement, the company “has nearly 400,000 parts available” to perform the fixes, and it’s still producing more.

Friedman’s letter to Marchionne goes even further, alleging NHTSA has received reports that dealers are turning customers away who request the recall. He asks the CEO to prove within 15 days that these claims are false. “Given the low rates of repair that Chrysler has reported more than a year after the recall, significantly more aggressive steps are required,” says a portion of the note.

According to The Detroit News, Chrysler has subsequently promised to speed up the recall work, vowing that all dealers will have at least 12 repair kits in stock by Monday. Further, it has announced plans to ramp up its notification campaign with Facebook ads and public service announcements.

Scroll down to read NHTSA’s full statement on the matter, and Friedman’s letter to Marchionne can be read in PDF format, here.

Continue reading Feds chastise Marchionne over Jeep recall, only 13% repaired so far

Feds chastise Marchionne over Jeep recall, only 13% repaired so far originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Feds chastise Marchionne over Jeep recall, only 13% repaired so far

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Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

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Chevy Chaparral Gran Turismo Concept

“I said our cars are built to be winners.” – Jim Hall

Racing legend Jim Hall never thought he’d be a video game consultant, but when Chevrolet asked for his advice to create a futuristic Chaparral for the Vision Gran Turismo series, he was eager to help.

He reviewed early sketches and suggested some changes that made it onto the concept, including the addition of a camera that’s mounted onto a mast over the cabin to aid the driver.

The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was revealed this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be part of a downloadable update for PlayStation 3′s Gran Turismo 6 in December. Theoretically, at least, it uses a laser-beam propulsion system and an air-powered generator to produce 900 horsepower in the video game. It’s capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds en route to a top speed of 240 mph.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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U-Turn: Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

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Chevy Chaparral Gran Turismo Concept

“I said our cars are built to be winners.” – Jim Hall

Racing legend Jim Hall never thought he’d be a video game consultant, but when Chevrolet asked for his advice to create a futuristic Chaparral for the Vision Gran Turismo series, he was eager to help.

He reviewed early sketches and suggested some changes that made it onto the concept, including the addition of a camera that’s mounted onto a mast over the cabin to aid the driver.

The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was revealed this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be part of a downloadable update for PlayStation 3′s Gran Turismo 6 in December. Theoretically, at least, it uses a laser-beam propulsion system and an air-powered generator to produce 900 horsepower in the video game. It’s capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds en route to a top speed of 240 mph.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Jaguar to go racing with F-Type GT3?

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Jaguar F-Type Project 7

Most British automakers have some manner of racing program. Aston Martin, Lotus and McLaren race as a matter of course. Bentley recently got back into racing, Morgan has dabbled here and there, even Land Rover has its off-road racing programs. The only one, it seems, that isn’t racing these days is Jaguar… but that could be about to change.

The latest intel from the UK suggests that Jaguar is closely evaluating the prospect of building a GT3-spec racer based on the F-Type. Like the Bentley Continental GT3 co-developed with M-Sport (not to mention Coventry’s own successful partnership with TWR), the Jaguar program would need an established racing outfit to help develop the car and field it, and the automaker is said to be evaluating three potential partners.

The development of the GT3 racer would allow Jaguar to compete (or sell cars for others to compete) in a variety of racing series around the world, including the Blancpain Endurance Series, the European Le Mans Series and, if properly adapted, other series like the United SportsCar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jaguar’s car would have to compete with such rivals as the Aston Martin Vantage GTE, Audi R8 LMS, Ferrari 458 GT, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Current FIA GT3 regulations use a Balance of Performance equation that allows for a curb weight between 1,200 and 1,300 kilograms (2,645 to 2,866 pounds) and produce between 500 and 600 horsepower. A more cost-effective GT4 racer could follow. But the best part is that Jaguar could, according to the report in Autocar, develop a road-going version as well, even more focused than the Project 7 pictured above and similar to what Bentley did with the Continental GT3-R.

Jaguar of course has had a rich history with motor racing, reaching back to its dominance at Le Mans in the 1950s with the C-Type and D-Type, extending through the TWR partnership in touring car and endurance racing in the 1980s and 90s, to the short-lived Formula One team that became Red Bull Racing. It launched a GT2-spec XKR a few years ago and was tipped to be developing a new LMP1 prototype, but neither are on the track today, where Jaguars only compete in vintage racing.

Jaguar to go racing with F-Type GT3? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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