German Paper: "China Steals Volkswagen Patents"

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
german paper china steals volkswagen patents

A few months ago, Volkswagen extended its joint venture contract with Chinese partner FAW for another 25 years, with appropriate pomp and circumstance: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel witnessed the signature. Now, Volkswagen takes the unusual step of going semi-public with the theft of intellectual property. According to reports in German media, FAW has “systematically and repeatedly” stolen designs of important components such as engines and transmissions. Volkswagen’s hands are tied.

Volkswagen managers caught partner FAW stealing designs for the Volkswagen transmission MQ 200, writes Germany’s Handelsblatt in a long article which names several (albeit anonymous) Volkswagen managers as sources. “It’s a catastrophe,” a VW exec told the paper.

According to the report, this is not the first case or purloined patents. Two years ago, Volkswagen blueprints were used to copy the EA 111 engine. Volkswagen’s Winterkorn complained to FAW boss Xu Jianyi. Xu apologized, said it was an oversight by an overeager engineer who had been “severely criticized.”

“In the meantime, FAW built a factory in Changchun for the copied engine,” says the report.

Volkswagen had shared construction details with its joint venture FAW-Volkswagen, which builds the engine under license. It did not share the plans with FAW. “The plans should not have gotten to the outside,” a Volkswagen manager told the paper. ”This is no way to cooperate, trust is being violated.”

It is doubtful that Volkswagen will openly fight against the copy. Bigger things are at stake. China already is Volkswagen’s most important market. For 2018, Volkswagen has budgeted four million units for China. Even if Volkswagen would want to take action against the copy, their “hands are tied” until 2013, said a VW executive. That’s when the purloined powertrain will hit the market.

Well, maybe it was a Chinese revenge anyway. The official PR picture with Winterkorn shaking Xu’s hand after the signing of the contract has “Volkswagen/ SAIC” as the backdrop. VW’s other Chinese joint venture partner SAIC is regarded as a bitter rival by FAW, and the improper backdrop is a major loss of the all-important face.

Tip of the hat to the man in the mountains. Demand denied

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  • Kita Ikki Kita Ikki on Jul 27, 2012

    One small edit: "VW’s other Chinese joint venture partner SAIC is regarded as a bitter rival by FAW, and the improper backdrop is a major loss of the all-important face."

  • Icemilkcoffee Icemilkcoffee on Jul 27, 2012

    Hahaha- stealing patents from VW! Now that is a dumb move. They better steal the patents for the 'special tools' too, cuz you can't fix these POS VW products without those very special special tools.

  • Tassos Before you rush to buy this heap of rusty metal, maybe you should wait a day or two.I hear Tim will have an Model T next time.
  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)