13.12.2006 FIAT IS CONSIDERING TAKING LEGAL ACTION TO STOP GREAT WALL'S PANDA CLONE BEING SOLD IN EUROPE

Fiat is considering taking legal action against Chinese carmaker 'Great Wall', which presented the 'Peri', a very close copy of the Fiat Panda, at the Beijing Motor Show last month. The new Chinese A-segment city car model is expected to be marketed in Europe by Great Wall around the middle of next year. Great Wall arrived on the Italian market a year ago, and has now signed up 90 dealers, a total which it plans to increase to 110 during the next six months. It is at the moment exclusively importing SUV models to Italy, with the first batch arriving in the showrooms during the last few weeks.

Fiat President, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo replied with a joke during an industrial union meeting in Turin yesterday to the journalist who asked him for a comment on the news that Fiat Panda was being copied by Great Wall. "They demonstrate they have good taste" Montezemolo retorted. "We are proud of it because Panda is a car at world level," he added. Apart from its very large headlights and slightly different pillar treatment, the Peri's dimensions are the same as the Panda's to within just a few millimetres. The Peri, which is called the Jing Ling in China, translates its name as "elf". It will be marketed with a 1.0 and 1.3 litre petrol engine and its full array of safety features including ABS brakes and air bags make it one of the most safety conscious "city car" vehicles currently being built by a Chinese carmaker.

Marco De Bonis, the Italian Marketing Manager for Great Wall Motors, told Associated Press yesterday that he agreed that there were some similarities between their Peri model and the Fiat Panda but he stressed that final specifications of the European version had yet to be finalised and he expected modifications to be made to avoid the potential legal action. "We don't want to have a lawsuit with Fiat," AP reported De Bonis as saying. "The model has not yet been chosen. If Fiat files a lawsuit, they will waste their time."

The Great Wall Motor Company Limited (GWM) is the largest privately-owned automotive manufacturer in China, says the company on their website. It is the first privately-owned automotive company in China to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Market and has since obtained HKD1700,000,000 of financial investment. With just over 10 years of rapid growth now behind it GWM has accumulated economic capacity, becoming the number one taxpaying company consecutively for three years in the City of Baoding. It was also among the Top 500 Enterprises of China in 2004".
 

FIAT PANDA 100HP

Fiat believe that the new Great Wall Peri model is a copy of its own Panda (above, in 100HP format) and are considering taking legal action if it is sold in Europe.

Fiat is considering taking legal action against Chinese carmaker 'Great Wall', which presented the 'Peri' (above), a very close copy of the Fiat Panda, at the Beijing Motor Show last month.

GREAT WALL HOVER SUV

The Great Wall Hover CUV which is being exported to Italy adopts an engine which meets European emission standards; the and its safety protection also reachs the Italian standard. 


GWM presently owns more than 10 subsidiaries and has around 8,000 employees. At the moment it builds pickups, SUVs, CUVs, motor-homes and other special vehicles. It claims to have the capability of developing engines, front and rear axles, and the core components of vehicles. The Great Wall pickup range is the domestic leader in terms of market share, products range, export volume, and market occupation among all the pickup brands for the last eight consecutive years. Meanwhile, their SUVs were ranked the number one in terms of sales volume for three years consecutively, promoting the growth of the entire SUV segment in China.
 
Until now, Great Wall Motor has exported to more than 100 countries and regions mainly covering Africa, Mildest, Central and South America, Caribbean, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Russia and East Europe. In these countries, Great Wall Motor has established sales and service channels and realised volume exportation in over 60 countries. Great Wall was ahead of the rest of the Chinese car makers not only in the volume but also in the sum of exportation with 18,526 units shipped overseas last year. Now it has arrived in Europe, with its Hover CUV having just gone on sale in Italy. The Hover CUV which is being exported to Italy adopts an engine which meets European emission standards; the and its safety protection also reaches the Italian standard.
 

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Additional information: Great Wall, AP & AGI / 2006 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed

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