One of my favourite games at motor shows is to find the most obscure manufacturer, and this year at Geneva the winner is undoubtedly 'DR Motor'.
Despite its obscurity, the company has a decent-sized stand in one of the main halls, dotted with various semi-familiar looking models. One of these looked very like a Toyota RAV4. So similar, in fact, that I initially presumed the company's business consisted of applying bodykits to existing models.
It turns out its more complicated than that. DR Motor is actually an Italian outfit that brings in various Chinese vehicles, several of which seem to have been – with the most favourable possible interpretation – liberally 'inspired' by existing European cars. These are then fitted with Fiat diesel engines and sold in Italy via a large supermarket chain.
Apparently copyright lawyers have already been involved over the similarities between various of DR's offerings and existing models – the RAV4-alike is certainly convincing enough from some angles. But in the meantime Italian punters are getting the chance to buy cut-price lookalikes combined with Fiat diesel economy.