By on December 5, 2016

wm-5

A billion dollar electric vehicle startup from China has been accused of using photoshopped production car images for their concept cars.

WM Motors, a new electric vehicle startup, recently gained widespread press in Bloomberg, Fortune and Forbes. However, it was Electrek that picked up on the pixelated fakery.

“It appears that one of the first concepts of this billion-dollar EV startup is simply photoshopped images based on promotional pictures of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.”

Electrek further reports, “The company announced partnerships with high-profile companies like telecom giant China Unicom and hardware firm Huawei and earlier this month, it also announced that it was breaking ground at its factory in Suzhou, China, where it plans to manufacture as many as 50,000 cars in 2018.”

This is embarrassing, to say the least, for such a high-profile company. Concept cars copy design cues from other brands all the time, but this poorly photoshopped image is nothing more than a blatant copy of Mitsubishi’s big crossover. You’d think a billion dollars of investment in WM Motors would buy at least some sort of original design or a better photoshop.

Some of the other images released by WM Motors are photoshopped more drastically, but it’s very obvious the Outlander image was used as a base when placed side by side.

Screenshot 2016-12-02 08.58.15

WM Motors has grand ambitions. WM stands for Weltmeister, which translates to World Champion in German. In a recent rambling press release, the president stated WM Motors would follow the business model of Tesla and avoid the mistakes of Fisker, Coda and Wheego.

He also mentioned copying numerous successful multinational corporations including Apple, Nike, and Haier.

He concluded by stating, “Great changes are to sweep across [the] global vehicle and manufacturing industry in the coming three to five years. And this time, China will lead the race and champion the world!” Appropriately, the co-founder’s name is Napoleon.

It’s hard to take WM Motors seriously. The promises sound great, but there’s no substance yet to go with the hype. History is littered with failed startups, and electric vehicle startups are no exception. Unfortunately, the company looks more poised to become the next Fisker than the next Tesla.

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26 Comments on “Billion-Dollar Baby – Chinese EV Startup Uses Photoshopped Images of Mitsubishi Outlander for Promotion Photos...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    China and North Korea seem to be under the impression that you can alter things with Photo Shop and nobody’s going to notice.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      In their defense, they did not think that anyone knew about the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Hey, they have sold 11 in England.

        (I did actually see many new Outlanders when I was in Texas. I think I’ve seen maybe one here.)

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I worked for a Mitsubishi dealership. Still didn’t see any Outlanders, except the ones that were glued to the lot. It’s sad because it looks far more appealing than its nearest competitor, the Dodge Journey; however thel Journey is probably more likely to last—given its ancient base-model powertrain—and also doesn’t have the nerve to ask for premium fuel on what is the weakest V6 on the market, like the Mitsu.

          And actually, the Outlander sells quite well in the U.K and Continental Europe. I believe the PHEV version is the most popular PHEV on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Was the dealership in an old former Carl’s Jr.? Perhaps a Pizza Hut which had a big lot? Ha.

            I agree the styling is nice, it has a certain Citroen appeal to it. That V6 isn’t even class competitive – nor do Mitsubishi customers have the sort of wallets or mindset for premium fuel. That was a very out of touch decision to use that engine in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Old Taco Bell. You know the kind that looked sort of like a Southwestern church. Instead of renovating them, many owners just built a new building nearby. Now the old Taco Bells have something else in them, but still look like old Taco Bells.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ah yes, I call that the QuickCa$h effect.

            I swear Taco Bell tasted best in those old hacienda places!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Please accompany me, to dinner and dancing!

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            There is a Chinese restaurant by my work that is in an old Taco Bell. Run for the Chinese Border, apparently.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Taco Bell hen hao!

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Bahahaha. Surprisingly, it was actually an old Cadillac store, and Cadillac probably told the dealer group that the building was unbefitting of whatever image the brand thought it had…so the dealer group built a brand-new building further north in the city. The Mitsubishi dealership hasn’t been there very long.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hey, Cadillac has an image of utmost luxury and branding prestige. The view from their SoHo building spreads throughout the brand in very important and forward-thinking ways.

            #daregreatly
            #officeoncaterastreet

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Mitsubishi should take that Photoshop and use it for their next mid-cycle refresh. It looks far better than the original.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    There is no bottom to Chinese flouting of Western mores and norms.

    Everybody in business has known that for at least a decade. Academia refuses to countenance such racism.

    I’m off for some tai chi. Of course I’ll cheat.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    The practical lesson here is that anyone, whether Chinese or Romanian, can dramatically improve automotive design compared to what design departments at large, lumbering, bureaucratic, expense-laden auto firms are able to produce, in an era of democratization enabled by relatively inexpensive computer hardware and software.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Hmmmmmmmm this either falls into the “Chinese DGAF” category or “Trolling Level Expert.”

    Either way, it made me smile. Maybe because of how far Mitsubishi has fallen in the estimation of enthusiasts.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Moral: If you tell your marketing team you want it “like this one only with my car” and don’t give them a budget, you get “like this one only with my car”. You don’t always get what you pay for, and you almost never get what you don’t pay for.

    I wonder if they asked for an image of the car and were told “it looks like the mitsu, but with different lights. Nah, it’s fraud.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The real vehicle will probably be a reverse-engineered Outlander, so why not? My question is, how will they emit blue smoke (like a Mitsu) if they’re EVs?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “WM Motors would follow the business model of Tesla and avoid the mistakes of Fisker, Coda and Wheego”

    But they are actually emulating Faraday Future more than anyone else.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Wow what a surprise, another shady rip-off from the land of shady rip-offs.

  • avatar
    Funky

    The following is an observation and is not intended to condone what was done:

    Within China’s system there is very little understanding / comprehension of copyright / trademark / patent / rights of an inventor. In this regard, there is a fundamental disconnect between the expectations of USA and China when it comes to related issues. In this case, it is doubtful the folks in China realize they’ve done something an American would consider to be out of the ordinary.

    Again, the above is merely an observation and is not intended to condone what was done. How one sorts-out this type of situation is beyond me (since I don’t make a living solving such problems) and I guess is something for the international business and legal experts to mull over.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    They can use a Montgomery Wards style font for their corporate logo, with the W over the M, maybe with a circle around it so it resembles VW.

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    Poorly pirated design created with a pirated copy of Photoshop.

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