By on July 29, 2013
Visionary-Vehicles-dealership-resized

Visionary Vehicles’ envisioned dealership

Malcolm Bricklin’s company, V Cars (formerly Visionary Vehicles), was awarded $2 million by a Detroit jury in U.S. District court. The lawsuit was filed after Bricklin’s failed effort to set up a joint venture with Chery to produce Chinese made cars for the North American market. The jury ruled that KCA Engineering, a company founded by former Visionary executive Dennis Gore while he was still an employee of Bricklin’s startup, had committed fraud as well as a number of other misdeeds. When Gore was first hired by Visionary, Bricklin said it was because of his expertise with Asian car manufacturers.

In the suit, V Cars LLC v. KCA Engineering LLC, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, No. 2:11-cv-12805, Bricklin accused Gore of using V Car’s proprietary information to assist Chery in launching the Qoros Automobile Co, in a joint venture with the Israel Corp holding company, controlled by the Ofer family.

malcolm-bricklin-with-wagon

Malcolm Bricklin and Chery CEO Yin Tongyao in cheerier days

Chery and Visionary Vehicles entered into a joint venture in December 2004. Weeks later Bricklin staged a guerrilla press conference in the lobby of Cobo Hall during the 2005 NAIAS media preview to hype the project, predicting that they’d be selling 150,000 Chinese cars in the United States by 2007. The JV was cancelled in 2006.

 

The suit against KCA is just one of a number of lawsuits filed by Bricklin in an assortment of countries to try collect damages over his soured deal with Chery. Litigation is continuing in V Cars LLC v. Chery Automobile Co et al., which seeks over a billion dollars in damages and lost projected earnings for what Bricklin claims was racketeering on the part of Chery.

In a 2009 interview with Car & Driver, Bricklin didn’t hold back on what he thought of Chery:

When Chery went from the bastard child of China to its favored son—because of what we were doing—and companies like Chrysler began to court them, they decided to see if they could screw me. Thought they would see if they could take it all back, and they did, and we’re suing them for $14 billion. China has the ability, they have the talent, they had the opportunity, but they don’t yet understand you can’t do business in the rest of the world the way they do business in China. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near them.

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14 Comments on “Detroit Jury Awards Millions In Malcolm Bricklin Fraud Suit Regarding Chery/Qoros JV...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Hmm. Looks like the American car buyer dodged a bullet.

    And frankly, Bricklin doesn’t know how lucky he is that this failed.

    • 0 avatar
      J.Emerson

      I think failure was the plan all along.

      Read Jason Vuic’s “The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History” to get a better sense of Malcolm’s general business philosophy.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      What is the worst that would have happened he would have had to file his 4th or 5th bankruptcy?

      You have to give him credit for never giving up though. Subaru, Bricklin, International Vehicles (Bertone/Pinafirina), Yogo, and the EV Warrior all ended badly with either the company and/or him filing bankruptcy, yet he gave it another shot.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    Maybe he was serious about the venture, and maybe he wasn’t. In any case, I bet he stands to recoup a lot more money by suing Chery than whatever personal stake he originally had in the JV. If you read up on Bricklin’s history with investing, it’s a wonder he isn’t either in jail or banned from the office of every bank in the United States.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    The Godfather!

    Why haven’t I heard of this?! I have a personal rule. To never attempt to make a business venture from anything car related. There is no soul-crushing, dream-shattering, step on your face industry equal to the automotive sector. This man says “Thank you sir, may I have another”! He is like the Terminator. He climbs out of the fiery wreckage unscathed. Where does he get his stamina? What are his dreams at the moment? How does he get investors? Is he certifiably insane, or a genius? There is no man alive that I would rather share a bottle of scotch with.

    Need to get “M.BRICK” plates for my Subaru 360.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    1. “Detroit Jury Awards Millions…” Technically, it’s correct, but “millions” implies way more than “two million.”
    Points against TTAC for that.

    2. If Pricklin sought $14 billion and was awarded $2 million, it sounds like a pyrrhic victory, at best. His attorneys fees will be at least 1/3 of the sum, so that’s about $1.2 million, over six years, or maybe about $200,000 per year.

    Assuming the Chinese pay up, that’s one difficult way to make that kind of money.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    I know I’m not the only one who saw the words “Bricklin” and “fraud”, and assumed he was the defendant.


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