Design boss Gerry McGovern said JLR could hold off on showing new concepts too early.
Volkswagen, Porsche, Smart, and most recently Land Rover have all been the victim of cheap Chinese knockoffs. The LandWind X7 that was introduced in 2015, for example, is a near exact replica of the Range Rover Evoque, apart from a few minor tweaks. But now the British marque is hoping to curb any potential replicas with a new technique – which means we may have to wait longer for new concept cars.
According to Autocar, Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern is "wary of showing new concepts" ahead of time over fear of Chinese knockoffs. The thinking is that JLR would introduce a concept car early, and a Chinese manufacturer could beat the production version to market. The company has since filed new copyright and unfair competition complaints in China against the aforementioned LandWind X7.
Gallery: 2018 Land Rover Range Rover
"We’re nervous about showing show cars a couple of years out as you can be copied just like that," said McGovern in an interview last week. A spokesperson further confirmed McGovern’s concerns, saying, "the success of Jaguar Land Rover is based partly on its unique design and engineering attributes, which we believe are worth protecting across all markets."
The Evoque isn’t the only JLR product that’s been ripped off either. The Hongqi LS5 is essentially a replica of the outgoing Range Rover Sport, while the Hanteng electric concept looks shockingly similar to the Jaguar i-Pace concept. All told, these Chinese knockoffs are quickly flooding the market, and automakers like JLR are looking to fight back.
The newest vehicle Land Rover may have some concerns over is the upcoming Defender. McGovern teased some key design details about the upcoming SUV earlier this week, saying that designers and engineers are "hellbent" on assuring the new version will live up to the name of the classic. With Jaguar’s new debut technique in place, this could delay the new Defender even longer.