China is the manufacturing darling of the world, with many auto and technology companies setting up shop thanks to the country’s low labor expenses and export-minded policies. It is also a notorious hotspot for infringing on intellectual property rights – aka blatantly rip offs.
Chinese companies like Lifan, Jianghuai and Dongfeng are notorious for churning out their respective clones of MINIs, Ford F-150s and Cadillac SRX’s. Another company by the name of Jiangsu Lake Motors has recently released their own rip-off of the Volkswagen Taigun – a subcompact designed primarily for Chinese consumers.Why does all this matter? The lesson is simple: you have to make sure that you know exactly what you are paying for before you even think of paying good money for imports.
It is very easy for unscrupulous fraudsters to pass off these clones as originals, especially if you have no idea what to look out for. This is why the first order of business when looking to buy an import is to look for photos and specifications from the car manufacturer websites. Doing so will arm you with the knowledge you need to see at a glance whether or not you are looking at an authentic import.
Another thing you can do to avoid buying cheap clones being passed off as originals is to work with legit dealers with a solid history of reliable deals. It can be very tempting to make an impulse buy when you see a car that’s a few thousand dollars less than the lowest offer you have previously encountered, but you will have to slow down and consider the reliability of the seller as well.
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