Wait, what? Italy car brand fined for passing Chinese cars as Italian

The DR 3.0 is from DR Automobiles is accused of being just a re-badged version of the Chery Tiggo 2 from China while even the manufacturing is in Chin
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DR Automobiles
The DR 3.0 from DR Automobiles is a compact SUV offered in the Italian car market. DR is a sub-brand under the Italian manufacturer. But is it essentially a rebadged version of a Chinese car that is also manufactured in China?
DR Automobiles
The DR 3.0 from DR Automobiles is a compact SUV offered in the Italian car market. DR is a sub-brand under the Italian manufacturer. But is it essentially a rebadged version of a Chinese car that is also manufactured in China?

Chinese cars may be ruling many markets across the world but many still don't really want to be associated with Chinese brands due to previous reputation of sub-standard production and quality. And while several Chinese automotive brands have put the stigma behind to offer world-class products - often at extremely competitive prices - Italy's DR Automobiles has been found guilty of misleading local customers about the origin of their DR and EVO vehicles. The investigation against DR Automobiles was started in late 2023.

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) recently imposed a hefty six million euro fine on DR Automobiles on charges that the company had implied its DR and EVO vehicles were manufactured in Italy. It was found that these vehicles, instead, were manufactured in China. DR Automobiles has been found guilty of ‘unfair commercial practices.’

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As per the AGCM, DR Automobiles began its commercials in December of 2021 in which it was implied that these particular models were locally manufactured. Although this may not have been communicated openly, it was still implied and therein lies the core of the problem. AGCM says that these particular models only had some minor finishing done in Italy but the bulk of the manufacturing and assembly was actually done in China.

Be Italian, buy Italian?

It is strongly suspected that DR Automobiles would have benefited in terms of sales by indicating that the two models were made in Italy and that the messages were around the same time that the brand saw an uptick in how many DR and EVO models were sold to Italian customers.

DR Automobiles has, in the past, left no stone unturned to project itself as a thoroughbred Italian brand with a motif representing the Italian flag and its website describing the company as an 'Italian automotive group…"

In one of its previous commercial campaign videos, a number of Italian landmarks were shown, followed by its a clip of its cars coming off the assembly line.

Chery Automobiles
Take a close look at the Tiggo 2 from Chinese company Chery Automobiles. Now once again check the image above of the DR 3.0. Spot the difference, anyone?
Chery Automobiles
Take a close look at the Tiggo 2 from Chinese company Chery Automobiles. Now once again check the image above of the DR 3.0. Spot the difference, anyone?

A 71-page document from AGCM now points to all of these while also showing screenshots that reveal the similarities between the DR 3.0 and DR 5.0 with China's Chery Tiggo 2 and Chery Tiggo 4. News agency Reuters also reported on an investigation that showed that China-made cars were seen waiting to be unloaded from containers at an Italian port and that these appeared complete in every way minus the DR logo.

First Published Date: 21 Jun 2024, 16:58 PM IST
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