|Dakar Rally 2015: Great Wall to copy Local Motors Rally Fighter for the Dakar?.|
"The Chinese are coming" we heard some years ago in the Dakar Rally. After the 'Landwind-flop' in 2006 (both cars had to retire very early), some other Chinese manufacturers like 'Chery' and 'Great Wall' tried to reach the finish-line of the Dakar Rally - mostly based on Nissan cars of European teams like Dessoude from France.
Later Great Wall was the first team which re-started the 'Project Dakar' with an own team, fully factory-support from China and the all-new Great Wall Haval/Hoover rallycar (based on a X-raid BMW X3CC) - and became successful, especially with European drivers like Carlos Sousa from Portugal (had to retire in 2014) or Christian Lavielle from France (finished 8th in 2014).
After the Dakar Rally 2014, Great Wall announced a new rally-car for 2015, with a new concept, new technology - and fully constructed in China (so no X-raid copy)... as a long-term project. For a long time we didn´t hear anything from China (only that Sousa retired from the Team) - now the Blog [ CARNEWSCHINA.COM ] reported some interesting news. We cannot say if the news are trustable, because even the Blog - officially based in Beijing - is registered in Germany and eventually based in Holland. But the story sounds interesting, so let us call it 'rumors'.
The Blog is not especially talking about the Dakar-project, but about a eventually new Great Wall car from China, which could be perfect for the Dakar. Especially after Peugeot announced their start with the new 'Buggy-Monster'.
"Patent drawings showing a new concept car currently under development at Haval. The concept is expected to debut on the Guangzhou Auto Show in December. The vehicle appears to be a sporty two-door 4×4 rally car in pretty much the same fashion as the famous Local Motors Rally Fighter," the Blog reported - and released some first graphics, which definetely looks like the 'Rally Fighter', an US-based project of the Company [ LOCAL MOTORS ].
The US-AOL-Blog [ AUTOBLOG.COM ] and [ WORLDCARFANS.COM ], obviously from Finland, also got the story - and the main content is clear: China is again to copy a car from a western manufacturer...
Autoblog.com wrote: "Believe it or not, a Chinese automaker has actually filed to patent this clone of the Rally Fighter, a high-riding off-road sports car made in Arizona. Though the form and proportions clearly ape those of the Local Motors vehicle, the detailing appears to be different enough to stand apart."
For Worldcarfans.com the story is more or less clear: "Chinese automaker Haval is preparing a Local Motors Rally Fighter lookalike set to come out towards the end of 2014."
Really? Well, it is not unusual that Chinese manufacturers are copying cars from famous or interesting international brands. But the 'Local Motors Rally Fighter'? The car looks great, but until now it hasn´t any big success... We will see what will happen at the Guangzhou Auto Show in December. Only rumors? Or only a nice marketing gag, installed by Local Motors itself? Whatever, we have a nice story - and you something to think about ;-)
2014/08/14 | 21:22 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS