This weekend I noticed a smart car next to our house. At least it looked like a smart, but when I had a closer look I saw there were quite some differences. Then I also noted the brand name Toyota on both the side and back of the vehicle. I got a bit excited, was this possibly a prototype of the new Toyota iQ? Because I started my career in the automotive business and also occasionally write columns for a car magazine I still follow what’s happening in the industry.
Looking a bit better at the car I noticed that it had AMG on its doors. That’s a bit strange for a Toyota, because AMG is part of Mercedes-Benz. I looked up the Toyota iQ on my iPhone and compared the cars. It certainly was not the same car, so I realized the owner put some fake Toyota badges and a fake AMG sticker on his car.
So what car is it? The Toyota branding put me on the wrong foot for a moment, but then I realized it must be one of China’s smart clones (there are several of them). Looking at my pictures from a smart clone at last year’s Shanghai Autoshow I figured out that this is the Shuanguan Noble (see last year’s picture here or this YouTube clip).
So the owner not only drives in a cloned car but also changes it to a better brand. Now he drives a double fake car, a bit embarrasing…