Court blocks sale of Chinese Fiat Panda clone

#Fiat
2007 Fiat Panda

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Fiat's not impressed.; The Italian auto giant took Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors to task over their GWPeri, a virtual clone of Fiat's new Panda.

Certainly, the cars have their differences (notably in the front fascia and C-pillar treatments), but they do appear to be remarkably similar.; So similar, in fact, that an Italian court ruled to block the GWPeri from European sale.

Claiming the GWPeri is simply a "Fiat Panda with a different front end," the court imposed a €15,000 ($23,761) fine for the first GWPeri to be imported.; If Great Wall continues to ignore the court, it'll be penalized €50,000 ($79,198) for each GWPeri it sends to the European Economic Community.

Similar litigation, also filed by Fiat, is pending in Chinese courts.; In the meantime, Great Wall says it plans to appeal the Italian judgment.

Source: Automotive News

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