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Great Wall Motor appeals against Fiat ruling

Ally From Gasgoo.com| July 28 , 2008 10:10 BJT

Shanghai, July 25 (Gasgoo.com) Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor Co has already issued an appeal against an Italian court ruling that bars it from selling a compact car in the European Union because it too closely resembles Fiat's Panda, a Great Wall official told Chinese media on Thursday.

"We are expecting a just and reasonable judgment this time," Great Wall spokesman Shang Yugui told Shanghai Securities Journal. He said it's incomprehensible that the Turin court ruling starkly contradicts car experts' conclusion.

Shang explained that the Turin court had hired a group of car experts to investigate into the case in advance, and the experts concluded that Great Wall's Peri has its own feature and doesn't violate the property rights of Fiat's Panda. The Turin court, however, ruled on July 16 that "the Peri is a (Fiat) Panda with a different front end."

The court decided that Great Wall should pay a 15,000 euro ($23,810) fine for the first compact Peri imported into Europe, Automotive News Europe said, but Great Wall is allowed to appeal against the ruling within 15 days.

The Chinese automaker claims the Italian court may simply want to protect the auto corporations of its own country as Great Wall's competitive car Peri on sale in the EU market will pose a serious challenge to the Italian brand.

Great Wall said in a statement issued today that it did not anticipate the dispute on the mainland to have any immediate material adverse effects on its operations, business or financial position, but its EU export plan might be affected.


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