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CHINA: Great Wall rejects Fiat charges on Peri

By just-auto.com editorial team | 23 October 2007

Great Wall's Peri bears more than a passing resemblance to Fiat's Panda and Fiat execs in Turin don't take that as a compliment.

Fiat has asked courts in China and Europe to block Great Wall from selling the Peri, which it says is the same as the Panda bar the headlights and bumpers.

But Great Wall rejects the accusations. "I cannot accept Fiat's claim. It took us three years and 300 million yuan (US$40 million) to develop the Peri," Great Wall spokesman Shang Yugui told Reuters.

He added that a delay in the launch of the Peri, previously scheduled for this month, was due to a longer-than-expected approval process with regulators.

"Once we get the licence, we will roll out the Peri in China and in nearly 80 countries worldwide, including Italy," Shang added.

In China, the Peri would be priced between 40,000 and 50,000 yuan, he said, pitching it against Chery Automobile's QQ.