Car wars have broken out in China – with Jaguar Land Rover taking on Far East rivals in their own backyard.
The Midlands' biggest manufacturer is threatening legal action against Chinese car-maker LandWind over its new £14,000 X7 model amid claims of deliberate copycat production.
JLR executives say the X7 (below) bears a striking resemblance to the £40,000 Range Rover Evoque, sparking a stern rebuke from chief executive Dr Ralf Speth.
Executives fear the Chinese 4x4 could hit sales of the Evoque in China, with the giant Far Eastern superpower currently Jaguar Land Rover's most popular market worldwide.
With the X7 making its debut at the Guangzhou Motor Show, Dr Speth said: "The fact that this kind of copying is ongoing in China is very disappointing. The simple principle is that it is not something that should happen.
"The intellectual property is owned by Jaguar Land Rover and if you break that then you are in breach of international regulations.
"As a company, we have invested heavily in China with our joint venture partner Chery. That commitment is based on a clear business plan that allows us to hit our sales targets at clear prices.
"Anything that damages the potential profitability of our plant damages the integrity of those plans.
"I will talk to our officials and our partners at Chery to find a way around this situation. I cannot imagine Chinese officials will be happy at any actions that undermine the credibility of the country."
Jaguar Land Rover added in a statement: "Once the matter has been investigated thoroughly, we will take whatever steps are appropriate to protect our intellectual property."
The JLR copycat spat comes just weeks after the Tata-owned manufacturer opened its first car factory in China, creating 2,000 new jobs.
LandWind is a joint venture between two of China's larger automakers – Changan Auto and Jiangling Motors. Neither company has commented.