BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese automaker said Wednesday that its cars were not copies of vehicles made by DaimlerChrysler and BMW, according to a media report.
Shuanghuan Auto, a commercial-vehicle maker based in north China's Hebei province, said its Noble and CEO models aren't copies of BMW's X5 sports utility vehicle and DaimlerChrysler's Smart Fortwo minicar, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
''We don't think our autos are identical. It's only the media stirring things up,'' an official at Shuanghuan Auto's public relations department told Dow Jones.
DaimlerChrysler AG and BMW have said they may take legal action against Shuanghuan Auto for allegedly copying their vehicle models, according to the Financial Times.
The Financial Times said Tuesday that DaimlerChrysler might consider legal action if Shuanghuan Automobile showed the Noble — which the German automaker says closely resembles its Smart Fortwo minicar — at next month's Frankfurt motor show.
In a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press, DaimlerChrysler said the Smart Fortwo ''is a revolutionary vehicle which has achieved a cult status worldwide, so it is no surprise that others want to copy it.''
The company said it takes the protection of its intellectual property seriously, adding that it ''works with relevant authorities to identify issues and enforce them. Offering a vehicle so obviously similar to the Smart Fortwo would be a violation of intellectual property. We reserve the right to pursue legal action — also with regard to a possible exhibition of the car at the IAA.''
A call seeking comment from the organizers of the IAA, or Frankfurt Auto Show, which starts in early September was not immediately returned.
Ma Qingsheng, the public relations manager at BMW China, said Wednesday ''we're evaluating (whether) to take legal action,'' when asked for comment.
The Shuanghuan Auto official said his department hadn't received any notice from management that the Chinese carmaker is preparing to participate in the motor show.