Beijing's fake cars
The fake Chinese cars are coming.
Already in China, there booms a shamelessly public industry of counterfeit cars. Fake Ferraris, fake Bentleys, fake Mazdas and Minis - you name it, some Chinese company you've never heard of has made a fake version, with a tiny price tag compared to the real thing.
We posted up a photo of a fake Mazda on our Facebook page. Our fan, Jimmy Li, made this interesting comment (which we've edited for spelling and grammar): "Guys, do you know how expensive cars are in China? $50,000 for a basic Mini. Copy of Mini costs $8000 with navigation, leather. Real Smart, $22,000. Fake, $6000.
"Your choice. When you're 22-30 years old, with annual income $8000, what car would you buy?"
We're not sure how accurate those figures are, but either way, Jimmy's comments definitely offer food for thought. Certainly, like fake watches, fake handbags and fake sunglasses, there booms a thriving market for fake things - cars included.
And now, you're about to see some of them, discovered as we strolled the great halls of this week's Beijing Auto Show. With each knock off, we've matched the real thing. Beginning with this, a Mazda2. And the fake Chinese version? Click that next button...