Posted on December 17th, 2006 by John Pospisil
They say that intellectual property laws are getting better in China, but you have to wonder when you hear stories like this one. Shandong Huoyan Electromobile, a small Chinese car maker, has been forced to halt production of its City Spirit, a tiny two-seat electric car, after DaimlerChysler threatened to take legal action because the City Spirit looked too much like its Smart car.According to a report on Autoweek, Shandong Huoyan Electromobile used a toy model of the Smart to inspire the design of the City Spirit. The cars were exactly the same length and many components, such as the grill and rear window, looked identical.
While Smart is powered by a three-cylinder petrol or diesel engine, the City Spirit was powered by a electric motor. Price was an even bigger difference, with the City Spirit costing 4200 Euros in Europe, or about about half the price of the Smart car.
Read more here.