Chinese Auto Parts Flood the Country, Spawn Doppelgangers

February 1st, 2012

JAC 4R3

Does the truck in this photo look familiar? At first glance, it could very well be an upcoming version of a slightly tweaked Ford F-150. Grainy pictures are pretty typical of shots from early in a model’s development. Yet there’s something just a little off about the picture that doesn’t seem quite up to Ford’s standards.

Plus, this style of F-150 has been working American construction sites and cruising U.S. highways for years, so there’s really no reason to hide any minor changes to the body or release teaser pictures.

Obviously, the truck in this picture is not an F-150. But what is it?

It’s a JAC 4R3.

Jianghuai Auto Corporation has just unveiled this pickup, which has surely already piqued the interest of Dearborn’s best lawyers, since it’s a blatant copy of America’s best-selling truck, right down to the blue oval in the grille. JAC wants to peddle the truck to buyers in China, Africa and South America, not unlike the shadowy gentlemen in New York City selling beautiful “Prada” bags out of back alleys.

JAC 4R3While the 4R3 has stolen the F-150′s looks, its power will be nowhere near that of an American pickup. A 2.8-liter 108-hp diesel 4-cylinder engine will sit under hood.

Truth be told, Chinese copies of popular cars and trucks are nothing new. Just check out these doppelgangers from the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show. The bigger question is this: Are Americans to blame for the ripoffs?

In our never-ending quest to save money, we all continue to support Chinese manufacturing every time we visit a store. Products made in China are nearly unavoidable. Even “American” products, such as many Ford vehicles, are assembled with parts made in the People’s Republic. Only now are lawmakers beginning to press the Obama administration to restrict imports of Chinese-made auto parts, which have surged almost 900 percent since 2001 and contributed to the loss of about 400,000 domestic jobs.

It should really not be a surprise that Chinese car companies use the parts they build anyway and put them in similarly shaped cars of their own. It’s actually pretty smart on their part. It cuts out the middle man: Foreign automakers.

Do you have a problem with so many auto parts coming from China?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    February 1st, 2012 at 19:25 | #1

    One of the pleasant surprises I’ve seen in the past few years is the trend to bring some manufacturing back from China. American consumers are starting to realize that Chinese goods are most often substandard cr-p and won’t buy it. Also, many retailers are flooded with defective returns and and starting to shy awy because they have a hard time making a profit when half the items come back. As the Chinese people get used to all that good ol’ American cash, their wages are shooting up and many of their products now cost more to produce and ship here than domestic goods.

  2. Jim Redd
    February 1st, 2012 at 14:10 | #2

    That’s probably the most blatant ripoff I’ve seen. The style is obviously from Ford, but I hardly think the powertrain or quality is comparalble. 108 horses? That’s either a really small truck or severely underpowered. Either way ford has nothing to worry about here.

  1. November 22nd, 2013 at 04:00 | #1