Thursday, April 2, 2015

Is Ford the Copycat Automaker?

Back in its heyday, Ford was responsible for some rather iconic vehicle designs, such as the original Thunderbird and the Mustang. These days the Blue Oval's designs are more infamous than breathtaking, because a growing number of people are accusing the company of outright stealing designs from other automakers.

The boiling point came recently when Bentley's head designer called out Lincoln (which Ford owns) for cribbing the design of the Flying Spur for the Continental Concept. I have to admit, the first thing I thought when I saw the new Lincoln concept was how much it looked like a Bentley, while rear fascia had a weird Audi/Volvo bastardized mixture going on. The closer I look at the vehicle, the more convinced I become that Lincoln might have actually copied the design.

2015 Lincoln Continental Concept, courtesy of Lincoln
2015 Bentley Flying Spur, courtesy of Bentley
When the new Ford Fusion launched, plenty of people said it looked like a wanna-be Aston Martin. I used to deny it, but looking at it closely there's definitely a strong resemblance that you just can't deny.

Being a Land Rover fan, I immediately noticed that the 2016 Ford Explorer is incredibly similar-looking to the Range Rover. What's funny is that a Chinese company copied the Range Rover, and people went ape. Ford does it, and I guess that's okay because it's Ford? Go figure.

2016 Ford Explorer, courtesy of Ford
2015 Range Rover, courtesy of Land Rover
I started digging more and found accounts of how Ford supposedly cribbed the design of the VW Passat to create the 2005 Ford Five Hundred, and that the Lincoln MKC is a ripoff of the Audi Q5.

2015 Lincoln MKC, courtesy of Lincoln
2015 Audi Q5, courtesy of Audi
Is Ford really so unoriginal? Can it just not design nice-looking vehicles without cheating off others' work? Sure, the company does have some original designs, like the Mustang, but the trend lately seems to be stealing from the luxury brands of Europe, which in effect cheapens their products.

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