Chinese Knock Off the Ford F-150
By Chris Haak
These may be some of my favorite kinds of stories to write about. My very limited understanding of Chinese culture , gained from talking to a few Chinese friends, is that if you give them something and tell them to make their own, they will find a way to duplicate it. You have to be specific, though, or you will end up with something that looks very much like the original, but is quite different under the skin. The thinking is, why innovate on design when there’s a perfectly good design there to work with?
And so here we have what looks at first glance to be a Ford F-150. Look a little closer, though, and despite the almost-identical shape of the headlamps and grille to an actual Ford F-150, the blue oval says “JAC” rather than the usual Ford script. The shape of the hood and doors also appears to be a bit different from the original. To the untrained eye, however, it’s pretty darn close.
Expect JAC to get a prompt letter from Ford’s legal department, perhaps prior to this truck’s auto-show debut (likely to occur in April at the Beijing Auto Show, says Carnewschina.)
It’s impossible to tell just how close of a knockoff this one is (aside from the obvious front-clip similarities) without seeing the truck’s profile and without having an idea of its scale compared to a real F-150. It’s hard to believe that a true full-sized truck like the F-150 (not officially sold in China, by the way) would even be viable or affordable there.
Still, nothing can top my absolute favorite Chinese knockoff of all time, which combined a Pontiac Torrent front clip with a last-generation Lexus RX rear end. Behold, the Huanghai Fast NCV.
Until China takes intellectual property protection seriously, we will continue to see more examples like this of blatant ripoffs, and global automakers will hesitate to cooperate with Chinese firms to the extent of offering their newest technology. Something like that happened when GM refused to allow its IP that was licensed to Saab to fall into Chinese hands, and it will continue to happen as long as we see things like these.