Chinese brands are infamous for producing some of the most blatant automotive knockoffs, but Great Wall may have reset the benchmark with the Ora Punk Cat, its clone of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle.
Revealed at the 2021 Shanghai motor show, the oddly named Punk Cat deviates little from the original Beetle formula, although it does have rear doors, a ‘floating’ central touchscreen and an all-electric powertrain.
The Punk Cat’s zero-emissions nature is due to falling under Great Wall’s dedicated Ora sub-brand, but that’s where the differences between it and the Beetle basically end, with their obvious similarities prompting Volkswagen to consider legal action.
The German brand told Carscoops in a statement: “We check this matter with regard to any violations of utility model or design rights of Volkswagen AG and reserve the right to take any necessary legal steps.”
Time will tell what happens, but Great Britain’s JaguarLand Rover (JLR) did have success in 2019, when it won a case against China’s Jiangling over the Landwind X7, a Range Rover Evoque copycat, so the precedent has been set.
2021 Great Wall Ora Punk Cat
For reference, the Beijing Chaoyang District Court ruled that five major design elements of the Landwind X7 had been unlawfully copied, so Jiangling was forced to not only pull it from sale, but also pay JLR compensation.
As reported, the New Beetle ceased production in July 2019, but Volkswagen last year filed a European trademark application for ‘e-Beetle’, so the series could return with an electric twist in the near future.