(Reuters) - (This March 22 story has been corrected after Jaguar Land Rover updated its press statement to say that it won a lawsuit against Jiangling Holdings Co Ltd, not Jiangling Motors Corp.)
Luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, part of Tata Motors Ltd, said it won a case in China against local rival Jiangling Holdings Co Ltd for making cars that copy features of Range Rover Evoque.
Beijing Chaoyang District Court said on Friday that Evoque, whose latest model was launched in 2018, had five unique features that were copied directly in the Landwind X7, leading to widespread consumer confusion.
The court ruled that all sales, manufacturing and marketing of the Landwind vehicle must stop immediately and Jaguar Land Rover be paid compensation.
The two sports utility vehicles have a similar shape, with the roof and windows tapering from front to back, and near-identical tail lights and character lines on the side panelling.
Britain’s biggest carmaker had sued Jiangling Holdings Co Ltd in a rare move in 2016.
Despite widespread and often blatant copying, global automakers generally don’t take legal action in China as they feel the odds of winning against local firms are low.
Also, a lawsuit can be bad for branding if the Chinese public think a foreign company is bullying domestic competitors.
The new Range Rover Evoque will be launched in China in April 2019.
Jiangling Holdings Co Ltd could not be immediately reached for comment.
Jiangling Holdings Co Ltd owns the Landwind company that makes the namesake brand of car that is under dispute with Jaguar Land Rover.
Separately, Jiangling Holdings Ltd owns about 41 percent stake in Jiangling Motors Corp - which also makes cars but is not involved in the production of the Landwind and is not part of the dispute. Ford Motor Co also holds a 32 percent stake in Jiangling Motors Corp, which assembles cars and engines for Ford in China.
Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva