2016 Zotye T700 - Image via AutohomeEnlarge Photo
The Chinese automotive landscape is one that is still in the early evolution stages, but it's growing strongly. Still, it's plagued a bit by a major problem that pops up albeit with less frequency than in years past. We're talking about design plagiarism, where a Chinese automaker simply copies an existing design from another non-Chinese automaker. There are many examples of this out there, and a recent one sees automaker Zotye readying a vehicle called the T700... which looks almost exactly like the Porsche Macan.
It's a clear issue for affected automakers, but there is little recourse to be had as copyright enforcement in China doesn't really exist. Regardless, Automotive News (subscription required) reports that Porsche is researching legal actions it can pin against Zotye. It won't be a clear and easy path to victory, but it's a road that we'd like to see cleaned up and traversed nonetheless.
A number of Chinese automakers have a history of plucking popular designs and applying them to vehicles they call their own. Years ago, BYD was ready to create a Porsche Cayenne clone. Landwind built a Range Rover Evoque copycat crossover, and the aforementioned Zotye has also repurposed existing automotive designs in the past.
The Zotye T700 will reportedly hit the market next year. We'll be paying close attention to see if Porsche can stop that from happening, while also taking a step towards further legitimizing the automotive designs of future Chinese vehicles.