Shanghai Auto Show: Mercedes Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Joint Venture

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
shanghai auto show mercedes imitation is the sincerest form of joint venture

No, this is not the Mercedes B Class. It is the Beijing Auto BC301. Supposedly , it is a blatant copypaste, performed by Daimler’s joint venture partner BAIC.

This is the real B Class. Come on, guys, where is the copy here? The colors are totally different! And the BC301 is fashionable matte.

(Honestly, after 2 days at the Shanghai Show, all these SUVlets look alike to me. It must be the Chinese food …)

Now here is something totally new: World premiere of the A-Class concept. It comes in three colors. Grey.


And red. Which one do you like best?

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3 of 7 comments
  • Kita Ikki Kita Ikki on Apr 21, 2011

    The rear quarter window is smaller. The wheels only have 4 lugs. The fuel filler is on the other side. The side rub strip is missing. Ha ha.

    • Cdotson Cdotson on Apr 21, 2011

      The cut line where the front bumper cover meets the fender looks wonky on the Benz. The BAIC fixed awkward styling proportions between the hood bulge and the top fender contour and has a nicely integrated headlight lens. The BAIC appears to have a nicer interior in that it isn't a sea of Teutonic black. I'm digging the flat paint, but I hear that they're a royal pain to care for. If I can neglect a paint like that the way I neglect my silver truck and have it still look as good 9 years down the road sign me up, and I'm about the furthest from being a fan of black cars as there can be.

  • Redliner Redliner on Apr 21, 2011

    They may look the same, but honestly, which one would you rather be in during a crash? Thought so. So my question is, do the Chinese realize this? Does safety sell in china like it does in the states or are Chinese shopper more interested in the bottom line.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂