It appears Chinese companies are just as happy to clone tire designs as they are cars, with Continental the latest manufacturer to suffer lost sales due to fake Chinese imports. However, unlike BMW and Mercedes-Smart, which have yet to take serious action against China’s Shuanghuan Auto and its clone-cars, Continental has shown that it’s possible to defeat counterfeiters by winning a case against several tire resellers in Germany selling the counterfeit stock. Though only affecting a couple of commercial truck brands, the counterfeiting is still of major concern because customers were buying inferior products that weren’t as safe as the originals.
According to Continental, all the fake tires originated from China. Under the agreement with Continental, the German resellers have agreed not to sell any tires that infringe on Conti’s patents, reports AutomobilWoche.
The door is now left open for carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Smart to prevent China’s clone cars from being sold in Europe. Both BMW and Mercedes have threatened China’s Shuanghuan Auto with legal action if it brings its copied vehicles to next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.