vvlogo.gifI previously blogged about China Pirates, where Chinese automobile makers were ripping off Japanese and other automobile manufacturers blatantly. Inside China they are virtually invulnerable. They rip off without a second thought, with the worst of worst case being the Chery QQ, a 100% copy of the Chevy Spark.

Chevrolet Spark and Chery QQ

Now Visionary Vehicles wants to bring the Chery marque into the USA. GM legal staff immediately took a chance for legal action on fair grounds instead of the Chinese courts. GM legal staff threathened litigation if Visionary Vehicles brings in the cars under the brand name Chery. GM says the Chery name is too similiar to Chevy. Quite a blatant shameless knock-off I say.

Originally, Visionary Vehicles CEO Malcolm Bricklin dismissed the letter and gave the following statement:

GM should focus on developing a better product for consumers, rather than waste time and resources with veiled threats of frivolous lawsuits. The American consumer will see soon enough that comparing Chery to Chevy, is like comparing cherries to lemons.

Now he’s changed his tune. Bricklin has said he will not market the Chery cars under the original brand name and is currently seeking for a new name to call the cars. He is considering his own company name Visionary Vehicles. He told the press:

They win. The last thing I need is to have 250 signs taken down. can’t afford to even gamble.

Visionary Vehicles targets 250,000 Chery vehicles sales in the first year with an eventual target of 1 million units a year. The cars will retail from USD$19,000 to USD$25,000 and will be mainly low-end luxury vehicles.

Forbes, Reuters