Manufacturing News

Chinese maker of 'copycat' cars loses production license

Shuanghuan Automobile Co., a small automaker that once built clones of Daimler's Smart small car and BMW's X5 crossover, had its production license revoked by Chinese regulators for inactive output.

The company is one of more than 50 Chinese automakers that lost production licenses, according to a report published this week by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

In 2013, the ministry enacted a rule to weed out small and weak domestic automakers. Companies that halt output or produce a small number of vehicles over the next two years will be deprived of licenses.

Shuanghuan was established in 1988 in Shijiazhuang in north China's Hebei province. The company produced the Noble small car, which closely resembled Daimler's Smart ForTwo. In 2007, it marketed the CEO, a copy of the BMW X5.

The Chinese automaker attempted to distribute the two models in Europe, but was blocked after Daimler and BMW went to court in Italy and Germany.

Details on Shuanghuan's vehicle output over the past two years are not available.

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