Some More Highlights of the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show

I did some more rooting around for oddities from the Shanghai Auto Show. 

Is that Photoshop? That background looks decidedly British but I doubt an Emgrand GE was shipped to the UK and shown just to make this photo possible. Image:
Is that Photoshop? That background looks decidedly British but I doubt an Emgrand GE was shipped to the UK and shown just to make this photo possible. Image:

This is the Geely Emgrand GE, a rather shameless Rolls-Royce copy with a grille inspired by Buick. The headlamps curved shapes are not sitting happily there, are they? This car is reported to be based on the Volvo S80 platform. It has one seat in the back. When shown as a concept in 2008 it had a rather more obvious Rolls-Royce grille. That has changed to a less, slightly less, flagrant emulation of another brand’s grille.

2015 Geelty Emgrand GE front



Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

11 thoughts on “Some More Highlights of the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show”

  1. ‘That background looks decidedly British (…)’

    Or French or something else – what it says primarily (if not decidedly) is that this car is as grand as a grand European palace.

  2. After reading about the single seat, I had to look out a picture of the interior of the car for the man who has everything, except friends. I find this pimped up Shanghai taxi both humorous and depressing. For a country that went through so many horrors in the last century, in the quest for socialism, to end up producing this tacky 21st Century sedan chair for its new industrial emperors is …. probably no surprise. We can become puffed up fools so easily, and there is always some toadying tailor just waiting to sew us a suitably stupid uniform.

  3. The building in question actually is the city hall of Hamburg, Germany. I doubt the Emgrand GE has ever touched Hanseatic soil, or any other Geely, for that matter – unlike the whole Kia model range, a commercial for which was being produced here on location some years ago.

    The designers’/marketing people’s train of thought must have been rather peculiar. Apparently, they did feel at least slightly red-cheeked when being ‘caught’ copying the Phantom in quite such blatant fashion. So what were they supposed now? Just stick with it, as most Chinese plagiarists do? Or come up with something original instead (boo! hiss!)? Maybe do the next best thing and take some inspiration from other Western top-notch brands? Cadillac? No, too Royce-alike. Bentley? Too popular in Hongxi, thus rendering the inspiration all too obvious once more. Hm. Something a little more obscure might do. Maserati, Jagu…? No. Too obscure. How about… Buick! Well, aren’t they too middle-class? But that grille is rather nice and shiny and large. Could work. And maybe it could work the other way around: the Emgrand acting as an unofficial halo model to the Buick range. Now that’s some nice outside-the-box thinking!

    1. Aha, I had a feeling that there was something quite germanic about the buiding, in the top left corner in particular, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…

  4. The single seat is not even that comfortable. It resembles a toilet more than a throne. Symbolically a sofa occupied by one person suggests wealth while not ruling out social connection whether with consorts, peers or advisers.

    1. Yes. Maybe a sign that that chair doesn’t double up as a commode…

  5. I’d noticed the similarity to a toilet too. Possibly it’s intentional. I wonder if this is actually a very clever piece of subversive design. I am really beginning to believe that this obscure and, at first view, stupid car is, in fact, a rolling parable to mankind’s hubris. I think that, on achieving adulthood, everyone should be driven around their respective towns, seated on this mean little throne, whilst a disembodied voice intones the fates of those who took themselves too seriously and paid the price.

  6. That’s an interesting way to view it, as a parable for the loneliness and isolation material excess. Were it was so. In truth these moguls and billionaires have no sense of irony. If they did they would not be where they were. The car still seems satirical when seen from a normal viewpoint.

  7. Richard. They have no sense of irony precisely because they never had the good fortune to encounter the Emgrand GE. 10 minutes sitting on the Emgrand’s throne would save them a lifetime of futile aspiration. The term ‘Flush With Success’ is brought to mind.

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