By on September 20, 2011

TTAC wasn’t able to be on-hand for the Chengdu Auto Show, but thanks to, we’ve got the latest in “we’re far enough into the interior that foreign firms won’t complain about our blatant ripoffs” styling, from the new heavyweight champion of Chinese ripoffs: Yema Motors. Seriously, calling these things “derivative” is wholly undeserved a compliment. And if you think this Audi A4… excuse me, Yema F16, is bad just wait until you see the rest of their new cars. From the Infiniti-aping E-series, to the Touareg-alike “T-SUV,” to the Subaru Forester clone F99/F10, the stylists at Yema Motors take their mimicry very seriously. And apparently the last original idea their design team had was “I know, let’s put our faux-Audi grille on the Faux-rester.” Tada, new model! The Jiade Dynasty rolls on…


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14 Comments on “New Chinese Champion Of Derivative Styling Discovered: Yema Motors...”

  • avatar

    Innovate much, China??

    • 0 avatar

      When my brothers begin their praise of everything China, I want to beat both to death.
      I should beat them just to releave some stress….
      Lots of people can be successful IF they are able to steal without any fear.
      This has been going on forever and will continue to do so because there ain’t nuthin anybody can, or will, do to stop it.

      As long as the world plays afraid of China, this will go on. But not just China…it has happened throughout history.
      Allowing, or turning a blind eye, is enabling. And enabling has always resulted in the eventual bully or thief bringing the rest of the world to war.
      It goes so far…then nobody can stand it any more because they themselves have been hit.

      Until then, it’s the other guys problem.

    • 0 avatar

      I am old enough to remember when people said things like that about Japan.

      And only a few short years later, these same people drove Hondas and Toyotas, and had Sony TVs.

  • avatar

    Do Chinese actually buy these? From what I read here it seems they either buy something exceedingly small and reasonable, or can afford a real luxury car, or at least an honest larger car from a western/Japanese brand. What is the market for an obviously “fake” luxury car?

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand this.

  • avatar

    I wonder how these will perform in crash tests, especially compared to their “real” counterparts.

    On second thought, maybe I don’t really want to know.

  • avatar

    This is outright cloning (of at least entire segments) rather than being derivative in design, but that’s the whole point for Yema since they are a 3rd tier brand even as Chinese auto brands go.

    Nobody in China is going to buy a Yema for its own design (if can’t afford an import brand, will purchase one of the more established Chinese brands) and thus Yema is catering to those who can’t afford an import brand but want to look like they are driving one.

  • avatar

    Let’s put this into context. Yema is a third tier manufacturer that most Chinese consumers have never heard of. Like the US automotive landscape at the beginning of the 20th century, the Chinese market is littered with small manufacturers which are unlikely to survive the industry-wide consolidation that is just around the corner. The REAL manufacturers to watch for (i.e. those that are going to be a viable contender in the international marketplace) is going to be FAW, SAIC (i.e. Roewe and MG), and maybe some Chery and Geely.

    The rest, including Yema will be absorbed into one of these entities. So mock them if we could, but just as companies like Cartercar, Elmore, Ewing, and Oakland were all absorbed into GM about a hundred years ago, the same will occur in China.

    If we want a better idea of what REAL Chinese cars are like, take a look at FAW and SAIC’s newer offerings, which are increasingly less derivative in its designs, and more indigenous.

    It is certainly not a coincidence that the Chinese government has actively discouraged these state-owned enterprises from exporting, until their products are competitive with western standards. In the meantime, we can lull ourselves into a false sense of security, by mocking these smaller manufacturers who have no prospect of being viable, even domestically in China.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you for injecting some sanity, and historical economic perspective into the inevitable sea of inferior out-group generalizations.

      Any developing economy will first seek to copy/ape/emulate the front runners. It’s just the most cost effective way of advancement at that stage. You could go back to the second half of the 19th. century when the US was infamous for bootlegging European literature. The skyscrapers of New York in the early 20th. century had a pastiche of foreign styles grafted onto their frames. Then contemporary euro-snobs weren’t happy, but that didn’t stop Americans from both copying AND advancing their own society.

      Even in the automotive world, various pundits have derided the then-newcomers as derivative and incapable of originality. The sad thing is, deriding the out-group doesn’t really hurt the out-group, it does however allow one to distract him/herself from more substantive issues.

      But history is just easy to ignore, and various feelings of contempt take over.

  • avatar

    As a culture, recently in the past 50 to 60 years anyhow, China has a tendency to copy others. There is little ingenuity in their DNA.

    Why not produce their own computer code or DVDs or car designs or whatever. Because it is a lot easier to copy someone else’ hard work and profit, than to create yourself.

    So this is basically the Big Bad China everyone is afraid of. A nation of thieves sanctioned by their government.

    • 0 avatar

      This has nothing to do with a lack of ingenuity. Anybody with half a brain would know that the fastest way to catch up with others technologically is to plain tear apart and copy. Coming out of the restrictive communist economy the basically had no modern consumer tech, and trying to catch up when you’re 50 years behind without peeking at the cheat sheet is plain stupid since it’s undoable. Everybody copies to start out with. The Japanese learned to make cars by tearing apart American cars (Honda’s founder even explicitly admitted doing so), the Koreans did the same, and now China is doing it. You’ll see real innovation once they’ve caught up via copying.
      In the computer tech world they’re innovating more than you realize and in 20 years I suspect they’re going to surprise people much like Hyundai has. Early Hyundai engines were barely disguised mirror images of Mitsubishi motors-those 90s Hyundai Accents all had “Alpha” motors that looked exactly like Mitsubishi powerplants except with everything on the opposite side, lol.

  • avatar

    Ed the car the T-SUV is copying is a Tiguan not a Touareg.

  • avatar

    For those interested in owning one of those imitation goods, Yema means “wild horse”.

  • avatar

    Isn’t yema egg yolk in Spanish? Where I come from it’s a candy made from cooked condensed milk.

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