Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Daimler Gestapo | Germans Crush Chinese Immigrant

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, that still don't make the Germans too happy.

In the U.S., the Wheego LiFe is an all-electric two-seater that's supposed to be cute despite a 100-mile range and a $33,000 price tag. In Germany, it's a rolling Chinese-built counterfeit to Daimler's Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.

Wheego bases the LiFe off the Chinese-built Shuanghuan Noble, which is a clone of the Smart ForTwo. Aside from being flattered that someone thought the ForTwo was desirable enough to copy,
Daimler has an agreement allowing the Noble on European roads, as long as they're powered by gasoline engines.

But battery-powered cars are a different matter; Daimler's relying on Smart to become its electric vehicle brand, and so when a European customer imported a Wheego LiFe, Daimler tattled to the German customs office, which reached for the keys to the forklift.
Source: Jalopnik

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