Geely says Rolls Royce's copy claims are baseless

geely ge throne limo 004

geely ge throne limo 004

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China's car industry is infamous for its tendency to 'borrow' details from European carmakers, often to the point where the word 'clone' is used with some accuracy. The latest car to catch legal heat for the practice: Geely's GE, a remarkably obvious take on the Rolls Royce Phantom.

But Geely doesn't see the similarity that's got Rolls Royce considering legal action. Geely spokeswoman Zhang Xiaoshu told the AFP, "they are actually different.... people may feel they are the same at the first glance, but the details are certainly different."

Playing fast and loose with concepts like 'different' and 'copying' is a luxury of doing business in China, where the government is notoriously permissive of such infringements. Unfortunately for Geely and other China-based carmakers, however, their progress into other markets will be heavily impeded by legal action in the trademark and copyright-protective jurisdictions of Europe and the U.S. if they continue these antics.

Rolls Royce understands that due to the huge price and quality disparity between the Phantom ($365,000) and the GE ($44,000), there is likely to be very little in the way of confusion or competition between the two, but it is nonetheless keeping its options open. "Our colleagues in Shanghai are taking a serious look at it," a Rolls Royce spokesman told the UK's Daily Mail. "Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is very protective of its brand image and takes seriously any attempt to imitate its products."

To get more familiar with the infringing limo, check out our story on the car here. Come to think of it, with that oddball throne arrangement in the back seat, maybe Geely really does have something behind that 'different' argument.
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Comments (6)
  1. It looks quite disgusting to be fair. This isn't the only thing the Chinese have ripped off other brands, first electronic equipment and now automobiles.

  2. Thoses darn Chinese stupid Clinton for moving all the factories there and making them grow. Now we have lead infeasted products that are made as cheap as possible.

  3. Interesting that the People's Republic should give birth to this monstrosity. It is clearly designed for a powerful comrade to be chauffeur-driven around town. Top Gear tested another, similar model and found it sadly lacking under the (tacky) skin. Well, I guess the USSR had their mock Cadillacs and China now has mock Rolls-Royces. I do think RR should take legal action over the "Spirit of Ecstacy" hood ornament. Take that off and it will be just another big ugly car.

  4. I posted below what I wrote on another blog, and I figure I'd put it here, as well:

    "I just realize what this Greely GE reminds me of (besides a cheesy Rolls-Royce knock-off), it reminds me if the late 70s through the early 80s when Detroit was downsizing all it's vehicles in effort to reduce fuel consumption - downsizing, removing content, detuning engines, and overall cheapening was all they basically had to work with then for there were no technologies or computerized applications and lack of lighter sophisticated materials. For example, the full-sized B & C bodied GM vehicles and the A-bodied intermediate were changed to smaller, boxier designs, as well as the X-Bodied compacts which were RWD were succeeded by the ill-fated FWD X-cars such as the Chevrolet Citation.

    My point, this seems to spoof that if this were that period, and they took a stately and substantial Rolls-Royce Phantom, downsized it for a new generation where they cheapened it up and made it boxier, and cut costs by dropping the rear coach-doors with conventional front-hinged, but still somehow tried to retain the look, feel and theme.

    Ironically, from the point above, Rolls-Royce did downsize it's offering from it's predecessor in 1964 when the then-new generation when from a full body-on-frame to a uni-body construction - the Phantom range and the new Ghost, though larger than that old generation, still use uni-body construction.

    Just a little levity and a spoof of the malaise period in automotive history. It was all an effort as a result of two fuel crises/gas lines of the 70s - an embargo in late 1973 through early 1974 (some phoniness as a ploy to raise prices) and a shorter one in 1979 caused by the Iranian crisis at that time. I was a school-boy through an adolescent through that period, but I remember how hard it was to get gas, seeing VERY long lines of cars at gas stations, fuel rationing, stations closed with NO GAS signs and prices rising unrealistically high for the time (prices again rose obscenely high last year, too, but are thankfully more livable and reasonable now). People were even trading in huge Cadillacs for VW bugs! There was uncertainty at that time and people afraid to go or drive anywhere so not to use gas, and, in general, it was the pits!"

  5. I'll never buy any car from that parasitic country.

  6. Does anyone that can actaully buy a Rolls really buy it for its looks. Personally I think they are bought because they are hand built pieces of machinery, not because they are going to win a beauty contest.

    Really if you are going to copy something why would you ever want to make an obvious knock off of one of the ugliest, most expensive cars in the world. Everyone will know its a knock off.

    Who are you trying to fool.

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