Chevrolet has a new Colorado coming out this year, but if you’re a fan of the last-generation truck you’re still in luck. That is, if you live in China.
Chinese utomaker JAC Motors sells a pickup there with a face that’s the spitting image of the old Colorado and, according to the company’s website, is “based on Chevrolet's spacious vehicle body.”
The problem is that it’s not.
GM has no relationship with JAC, and the design of the 109-horsepower pickup is nothing more than a blatant rip-off of the Chevy. To make matters worse, it features an interior that’s eerily similar to the last-generation Silverado.
Looking for something a little larger? No worries, JAC also sells a truck that looks just like the 2001 Chevrolet Avalanche.
Vehicles “inspired” by those of foreign brands are a pretty common sight in China, where one automaker recently went so far as to file a patent for its carbon copy of the Range Rover Evoque. Ford has also had to contend with its fair share of F-150 clones, including the Kawei K1, introduced at the Beijing Auto Show last month.
IHS Automotive senior analyst Stephanie Brinley says foreign automakers have little recourse when it comes to protecting their designs in China, but it’s really not a big concern.
“It doesn’t hurt the brands outside of China and isn’t even much of an issue there,” Brinley says. “Chinese consumers prefer the international brands and only buy domestic if they can’t afford them. They know the difference.”
A Chevrolet representative says the company is looking into the matter, but cannot comment on any possible legal actions.
In the meantime, if you can’t get a good deal on that JAC, head on over to the Huanghai Auto dealership, where they sell yet another Colorado clone called the Plutus that the company says has been granted a national design patent.
Maybe Huanghai is the one that should be going after JAC.