Ford Quietly but Successfully Blocks China's JAC Efforts to Produce F-150 Pickup Truck Clone

Do you remember China’s JAC 4R3 pickup truck clone of the Ford F-150 that made headlines earlier this year? For those who can’t recall what happened last week, let alone in February, here’s a bit of a refresher. In January, JAC Motors presented a doppelganger of the Ford F-150 called the 4R3 to its domestic dealers, with plans to begin series production towards the end of the year. Naturally, photos were taken at the event and it didn’t take long for the news to reach the other side of the Pacific. At the time, JAC was planning to debut the 4R3 at last week’s Auto China 2012 in Beijing, but as you may recall, that didn’t happen. Why, you ask? Well, evidently, Ford did what it had to do to protect itself from JAC’s unapologetic move to clone the F-150. Speaking to Autoline’s host John McElroy, Bill Coughlin, President and CEO of Ford Global Technologies and Intellectual Property Chief, said that the Blue Oval took all the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. When the conversation came to China and patents, Coughlin said: “You need patents and they are country specific, so that you need to get patents filed in China as well, and frankly, we built up quite a portfolio in trying to protect us. You don’t see Ford being ripped off in China.” Asked about JAC and the 4R3, the Ford exec commented: “There were a couple of press reports that ‘oh’, at the Beijing Auto Show there’s going to be an F-150 clone. It didn’t happen. Not going to happen.” Coughlin said that Ford is very protective of its work and it immediately addressed the problem. “We did our job. There was good global teamwork,” he said. “So, yes, we can protect ourselves in China, it’s not easy, but you can do it. Is it expensive? Not really, I mean, it would be less than filing here [U.S.].”
Photos via Pikadd