Monday, May 13, 2024

BYD Seagull is... a Lamborghini-mini

Well, remember those cute ads - such as "Picks up five times more women than a Lamborghini" for the 1996 Daihatsu Hijet MPV. Well of course, those were done in jest. Actually that whole school of ads is no longer used - actually too many automakers dabbled in it including the classic "faster than a Ferrari - as many wheels as a Rolls Royce - more room than a Porsche" (discover the Citroen 2CV ads here).

But again, all this was done with a joking tone.

Which is why the BYD ad (here) is - at best, alarming, at worst a brand-use infringement. First read the text: "Designed by former Lamborghini designer Wolfgang Egger, the BYD Seagull has the sharp, edgy exterior of the Lambo, the spacious and comfortable interior of a sedan, along with all the perks of an EV; clean, green and serene." And then... the tag? #lamborghinimini much like the headline.

Well, I truly do find this very disturbing, because the difference between this ad and the ones stated earlier (there are many others mind you) is the tone of voice: the BYD ad takes itself seriously. Because even if the car was indeed designed by the former Lamborghini designer this does not allow the company to use another brand's name as if it was its own. Just to be clear Lamborghini is not owned by BYD but rather by Volkswagen Group through its subsidiary Audi. So legally this is truly baffling.

My research on the net has shown that the ad seems to be Lebanese - BYD does not in any of its press releases or anywhere on its website actually compare the car to the Lamborghini. But I guess in Lebanon anything goes.