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A legal Mercedes copy?

Chinese G-Wagon

24/04/2014 09:30 |  Comments: 

Editor

Our heavyweight champion, Balázs, or better known as Assur on the premises is the news writer of the mother site, totalcar.hu. Oh yes, he’s an automotive engineer too. They say there isn’t a data that has ever escaped his mind, all we know is that he can drop into any conversation about any car that was made after the war, and he’ll be able to add a ton of details you won’t ever be able to find in books. He has been thinking of selling his longserving Volvo for years, so he always has some used car adverts open on his computer, just in case. Has a wife and two (almost grown-up) children.

Don't expect a scandal this time, Beijing Automotive copies Mercedes legally.

The collaboration between Daimler and BAIC, first linked in as early as 2003, is based on a strategic framework agreement concluded in mid-2011, and the German luxury car manufacturer announced at the end of 2012 that the company would support the Chinese state-owned car maker offering entire vehicle platforms from which to build cars. The Chinese car manufacturer jumped at the opportunity: their BJ80 SUV off-roader introduced at the Beijing Auto China expo is a G-class with a facelift and they don't even deny it.

The BJ-80 has little chance of becoming a cheap Chinese Mercedes, though, as it won't be much cheaper than the German original if the 4-litre V8 and the white leather upholstery of the car on display is anything to go by. Compared to the German G-class, a real cult object by now, the Chinese version looks a bit cheap, but that's beside the point. The point is that the car is only a by-product.

The BJ-80 is intended to replace the old Beijing military off-roader, the UAZ copycat BJ-212 and its spin-offs, so the civilian version will merely be a by-product, much like the original was a by-product at Mercedes. The G-class has become a rather popular military vehicle made under licence in many places, so it's understandable that the People's Liberation Army will be thrilled to receive a fleet of its homemade copy. Although these vehicles will probably not be used by the low ranking officials who drive the more simple BJ-70, a mostly Chinese construction, the armed corps of the country with the largest population in the world will probably still make use of hundreds of thousands Chinese G-class copies.

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