Chinese car maker denies its design is inspired by the Mini

This is the Lifan 320, which its makers deny has borrowed anything from the styling of the Mini.

The Lifan has been on sale in China for more than a year, and is designed and built at Lifan's base at Chong Quing.

See the Lifan 320 in detail

It is 3745mm in length, 1620mm wide and 1430mm high; in contrast the Mini Cooper is 3635mm long, 1688mm wide and 1408mm in height.

Asked about the car's similarity to the Mini, a spokesman said: "Yes, we know of the similarities, but this is an independent design of our own work. I think that perhaps the management of Lifan and Mini shares some ideals that have drawn them to this very classical and fashionable shape."

It is powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine linked to a five-speed gearbox, but a 1.0-litre three cylinder unit will be available later this year, increasing the car's city appeal.

It has MacPherson strut suspension front and rear, and standard kit includes anti-lock brakes and two airbags.

Jim Holder

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Comments
30

24 April 2010

Nah, nothing like a Mini at all!

24 April 2010

Given BMW's heavy handed approach to long established Mini traders who dared to use the word "Mini" in their company name, I suspect that their lawyers will be on a plane now with a court order for this blatant and badly proportioned rip off !!! In this case, I think they'd be justified in being a bit miffed.

24 April 2010

Shame the Chinese aren't as imaginative in their designs, as they are with their explanations..

24 April 2010

[quote miniboy1971]I suspect that their lawyers will be on a plane now[/quote]

Maybe not, since the article says that the car has already been on sale for a year now...

24 April 2010

I don't know how strong Intellectual Property law is in China, or how possible it is to enforce an action even if you do win it, but the manufacturers must be hugely worried about this. Using cheap & blatant copies to establish a business is only the first step - once they're big enough they'll be into the export market with competitive new products that aren't copies, but all financed from plagiarism.

You'd have thought that a concerted legal action would be happening, but instead the European makers seem to be casting a blind eye on this while they fall over themselves to sell big limos to the wealthiest Chinese.

R32

24 April 2010

yet another Chinese rip-off of someone else's design and intellectual property... speaks volumes about the Chinese

24 April 2010

European Commission (or smth similar) should ban Chinese car/bike makers from our markets, until they start playing fair!!!

24 April 2010

Why complain, it's either racist or jealousy?

We are the consumer, if it offers something we like, we should buy it.

the businesses can be left to settle any legal aspect.

I would be happy to see these on the road in the UK.

All ideas,methods,designs should be free to the world to use, anything otherwise is a police state.

Imagine if the current today crazy morals or patents etc existed in the early humans, one person is the first to discover how to make fire and then use it in various ways, others saw how he did it. But a year later after he died, for the next million years humans were without this new fire because he had filed on the cave wall a million year protection patent for fire creation and control.

24 April 2010

[quote beachland2]

All ideas,methods,designs should be free to the world to use, anything otherwise is a police state.

[/quote]

Sorry but you're completely wrong; almost everything you buy & consume is the result of someone investing in developing a product which they hope is better than the competition. To suggest that we go down the road of no ideas protection is to immediately stop any incentive for companies to make that investment in new ideas, concepts and designs, to the detriment of us all. After all, why bother paying for R&D if the competition copy what you've done immediately.

R32

24 April 2010

[quote beachland2]All ideas,methods,designs should be free to the world to use, anything otherwise is a police state.[/quote]

What utter rubbish from someone who clearly doesn't appreciate the time and effort individuals invest in creating new products. I wonder if he had spent months or years designing, engineering or inventing something new he would take the same view if his idea was copied. I doubt it.

And what's with the ban diesel/ban air-con rubbish too? It'll be ban breathing next! Is there anything you don't want banned???

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