Chinese kits turn $13,000 car into fake BMW

Brilliance H530Companies in China are selling grille and badge kits to make a $13,000 locally-made car look like a BMW 5-Series.

The conversion kits sell online for $72 and give the Brilliance H530 a passing resemblance to the BMW 523Li, a luxury car that retails for $70,000 in China. BMW is now trying to stop the sale of the kits.

"We take this seriously and do not want to have fakes in the market," Kai Lichte, a spokesperson for BMW in Germany, told MSN Autos. In 2008 BMW lost a court case against a Chinese firm, Shuanghuan Automobiles, it accused of copying its X5 model. Mercedes Benz also tried to sue.

The grille conversion kits, which go as far as re-badging the engine, are designed to fit on to a recent model by Chinese manufacturer Brilliance. In 2003, Brilliance began manufacturing the real BMW 5-Series in China after inking a joint venture with the German-based car maker.

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