By on February 3, 2012

Tycho, my Dutch friend in Beijing, scored the big one with his fake F150 story. After we wrote about it, everybody from  Motor Trend to Pickupinfo.ru wrote about it as well, taking the Carnewschina.com server on a shakedown tour. Tycho does what a good journo needs to do: Feed the beast. He found even better pictures of the pseudo Ford. And he found imagery of its older brother. Which is a Chevy copypaste.

JAC’s Ford-clone JAC 4R3 pickup truck is not available yet, and will be shown at the Beijing auto show end of April. JAC is headquartered in the village of Jingxin in Hebei Province. Villagers there are fiercely loyal to their largest employer, and when uncamouflaged preproduction models of the JAC 4R3 showed up — pictures of the truck appeared minutes later on the Internet.

Tycho has a whole collection, courtesy of the fiercely loyal villagers

On further digging, Tycho unearthed that the truck’s older brother also looks like a Detroit lovechild. According to a new report in Carnewschina, “the JAC 43R is based on another existing JAC pickup truck, the JAC Ruiling. The Ruiling, meaning ‘Lucky Bell’, is a copy of the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, with a Ford-style oval on the grille.”

Some commenters think it looks more like a 2005 Chevy Colorado. Opinions?

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27 Comments on “Fake In China: More On The Faux F150, And Its Chevy Precursor...”


  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Can anyone tell me what – if anything – Ford and GM can do about these vehicles and this company? I know the F150 isn’t sold in China, but if I were Ford I would go for the jugular on this one. After all the F-series is Fords biggest money-spinner.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      Sadly, they can’t do anything; it’s another country, and China protects its sovereignty.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Maybe they could sell genuine F-150s in China so that the Chinese wouldn’t have to buy knockoffs?

      The F-150 is a fabulous truck. I’m curious if the similarity is just skin deep — if it is, the F-150 would clearly be the premium alternative. Even though the F-150 isn’t my kind of vehicle, it is that that good as trucks go.

      OTOH, it’s hard to imagine Chinese working folks lining up to buy $40k Country Cadillacs, so maybe they’d want to emphasize the commercial versions of the F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Pretty much nothing since it’s not an exact duplicate-it just looks ridiculously similarly styled but vague subjective similarities in styling aren’t legally actionable or everyone would sue each other in the auto industry. It *looks* a lot like an F-150 but the measurements aren’t the same, the headlamps aren’t really the same, the shapes aren’t really identical, etc. so it’d be near impossible to prove. The fact that it’s sold in China where there’s no F-150 to begin with makes it even more impossible from a legal standpoint.
      So yes it’s largely a copy but it’s like Android vs iOS, they may look superficially similar but they’re not identical and there’s vast differences under the hood.

      Ford would be better of not wasting their money on lawyers in this case. Especially given how protected truck markets tend to be (i.e. our chicken tax) and how poorly the F-150 sells outside the US it’d be an idiotic waste of legal fees.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Weird. While the first truck is clearly a Ford copy, the older (?) one looks like someone managed to graft a Colorado nose onto a Silvy.

    It actually works for me.

  • avatar
    missinginvlissingen

    I wonder if the puddle visible under the “Chevy” in the final photo is a telltale sign of this vehicle’s quality.

    Styling may sell the first few thousand trucks, but there are plenty of customers who will really TEST the durability and function of these vehicles. Copy a BMW, you have a crappy car that looks like a BMW. But copy a full size pickup, and you have something utterly useless.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      If it’s cheap enough, how much trouble are you willing to tolerate?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “I wonder if the puddle visible under the “Chevy” in the final photo is a telltale sign of this vehicle’s quality.”

      If that is evidence of the quality, GM just needs to slap a Buick nameplate on a genuine Silverado, start selling them in China, and keep one back at the office to haul all of the cash that they’re going to make to the bank.

      OTOH, Mercedes doesn’t sell their non-luxury vehicles in the US because they’re afraid of what will happen to their brand-image when we finally see a Mercedes-driver who doesn’t cut us off in traffic. Maybe GM should introduce GMC to China?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        If the puddle is from the truck it’s likely condensation dripping off of the air conditioning compressor, pretty much any vehicle will leave that if left with the AC running on a warm day.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        NulloModo beat me to it, if that puddle is from the truck it’s far too forward to be oil or any kind of coolant, it could have been a radiator leak (which is trouble) but odds on it was condensation. That still gets me sometimes, I’ll be walking to/from my car and see something drip, I’ll go low and then see it’s just condensation…but it’s a bit unnerving for that moment.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        It is very dry here in San Diego during the summer, so on the occasions when A/C is needed one usually doesn’t see any condensation. A few years ago, I went car shopping for a friend of mine. After a while, I asked my friend how she liked the Mazda 6 we selected. She said she liked it, but that she was going to have to take it to the shop because it sometimes dripped. I suspect that everyone with working A/C would have immediately known the reason on the east coast.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Or maybe Mercedes knows they can’t sell a $40K grocery getter here (A-Class) in sufficient enough quantities to be profitable. I like well put together small cars but still an A-Class would be too rich for me.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I thought that thing was a Colorado at first. I like the cheap-o aftermarket style rims they use on it. Looks like something from Canadian Tire’s auto parts department circa 1995.

    The other truck looks just like an F-150. I wonder how long its lifespan would be if it could be sold in North America (especially in salty areas). Do Chinese vehicles have any sort of anti-corrosion protection?

  • avatar
    ajla

    If you are going to rip off American truck designs, you should go with the 6th gen F-series and 3rd gen C/K.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    One of the best ways to prevent knockoffs is to manufacture your product in China and price it accordingly. Then it’s not worth cloning.

    • 0 avatar
      TokyoPlumber

      I have to disagree for two reasons:

      1. It’s almost impossible for a western company to compete on price with a Chinese company that copies their product. R&D costs must be factored in to the price of original designs. A company that copies only needs to recover their reverse engineering costs. Western companies typically have much higher overhead costs (ex, offices and staff in their home countries) than local Chinese companies that copy their products. Furthermore, it has been my experience that Chinese business are often willing to run at break even (or even at a small loss) long enough to establish their market position and / or wipe out competitors.

      2. Although Chinese businesses are known for taking huge financial risks they are incredibly conservative when it comes to what they make and sell. Chinese companies look for successful products and attempt to replicate these so as to duplicate the success. They don’t typically push the envelop of a market (ie, by developing an entirely new product) as doing so is usually well outside their expertise and comfort zone. If you have a successful product a Chinese company will copy it because they know a lot of people will buy it. Furthermore, they’ll reason that they can build and sell that product for less than you can.

      JAC copied the F-150 because it’s the best selling pickup in the world. Clearly, they are unable to understand the success of the F-150 and use this to aid in the development of an original, competitive product. They coped the F-150 because:
      - they know that design sells very well,
      - they recognize their own inability to come up with something equal or better, and
      - designing a good, original product is far less important than establishing themselves in the market

      I’ve done business in China for more than ten years now. It’s an incredible, vibrant and amazing place. However, business is a bloodsport in the wild, wild East. Making money trumps all. Fairness means nothing … and copying is the norm.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I doubt that they cloned the F-150 because of it’s sales figures, it sells well only in the U.S. market whereas full-size pickups are duds everywhere else. They just cloned it because it’s a nice looking design and they were too lazy to come up with their own.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        tekdemon has it in one

        its really not complicated… the Ford F150 has no relevance outside of the US… the average chinese person would not know what it is nor could they afford to buy or a run a $25,000+ 302 cubic inch V8 truck

        Ford have no intention of selling it outside of the US.

        All this is, is a Chinese company who couldn’t be bothered with their own design. They just saw the F150 on the internet and thought it looked good (it does). They spent the minimum amount of time and money to replicate the look and transplant it to the ubiquitous Chevy Colorado copy chassis.

        This one would have the 4G64 Mitsubishi 2.4 petrol or the 2.8 turbodiesel.

        I think 95% of the compact trucks in China are the same Colorado copy since the early 2000s.

        This is really a non event because the Chinese don’t care for the F150 and Ford doesn’t care about protecting their copyright there because the F150 will never be sold outside of the US.

        The average Chinese fellow after a truck will just compare this to all the other Colorado copies and buy based on priced and what his aesthetic sensibilities tells him.

      • 0 avatar
        jcisne

        TonyJZX – The F150 is sold outside the US, in fact it’s sold in almost all Latin American countries.

      • 0 avatar
        majo8

        Not to mention Canada…..

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Canada is my favorite of the Latin American country (that means all outside the original 52 statess, right? )

        .llort attog sllorT

    • 0 avatar
      TokyoPlumber

      TonyJZX,

      As jcisne points out the F-150 is sold outside North America. This Ford truck is sold in many regions where JAC has dealers (ex, South America and the Middle East). F-150 sales are a pittance in these places relative to the North American home market. However, JAC is a small company: their total 2011 sales were less than 470,000 units. They don’t need to sell huge numbers of these clones for this to be a successful endeavor for them. JAC will know that the F-150 sells very well. By copying the design they are simply trying to ride the coattails of this success (in export markets where they currently operate).

      I agree with your comment that the average Chinese person doesn’t know about the F-150 (nor could they afford to buy one). However, in China selling cars is never about selling to the average person. It’s about selling to the (growing) minority wealthy enough to afford a car. I’m sure JAC can find enough rural factory bosses (20,000 per year?) to buy their F-150 clones. Consumer tastes are still developing in China (particularly outside the big cities). Many new rich buy based what is popular / desirable in developed countries … and the less sophisticated (less wealthy) among them will settle for a clone over the real thing. In the domestic (China) market JAC F-150 clone will be targeted at people like this.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        That F-150 could sell well at the right price in Australia too.

        America needs to get it’s ducks in order. We’ve exported our factories and jobs to China, taught them to do everything we used to do for ourselves, and they hold a sizable portion of our debt. We’ve done everything but given them the keys to our military – - – all in the name of “low, low everyday prices”.

        We can point fingers at each other and call names (see current political discourse) or we can get back to work buying and selling from each other and trying to export “something” besides our expertise. I see a time where either transportation gets expensive enough to protect our jobs from cut price Chinese factories -or- we need to start applying tariffs. I suspect though that American trade policy is designed to protect the American investor class who was done investing in America and saw China as easy profit. So while we cater to interests like that the rest of us are left swinging in the wind.

        We can point fingers at the UAW but let’s not forget the cost of managers and the folks who put investors and Wall Street ahead of everyone else. They are just trading paper.

  • avatar

    They should be proud of how good that F1 looks.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The Chevy knockoff is sort of a Chevy/Isuzu hybrid with regards to the grill. The F-150 knockoff has the tailgate from a Nissan Titan for some reason.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    This does smack of poetic justice when one remembers Ford making Ferrari change the name of an F1 car.


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