Two Tribes At War, What Happened When Volkswagen Tried To Copy Paste Land Rover 4×4 Technology
We are two tribes at war, in a state of permanent war with Jaguar and Land Rover. But even we were left somewhat aghast at the sheer mendacity perpetrated by Volkswagen. They instigated and perpetuated Dieselgate for decades and now we learn of yet another act of brazenness. This time it’s a case of “if you can’t beat them, steal it from them”. When Bentley launched the Bentayga in 2016 it featured a four-wheel-drive system eerily similar to Land Rover’s unbeatable All Terrain Response system.
Land Rover’s All-Terrain Response is a work of pure genius. No other car manufacturer comes close to matching the system developed and refined by Land Rover over many years. On a side note, we have never had a problem with Land Rover, the in-perfect product. It’s Land Rover the people with whom we are at war. Specifically, Land Rover UK PR, because they were meant to be ambassadors to the brand, the very best of Land Rover. But we experienced a dislocated, lack of professionalism, dysfunctional and bastardization of PR. We witnessed the cult of the self pervading like an arching stench rising to the fore and polluting its surroundings without any self-awareness, placing careerism and personal aggrandizement above basic competence. And they failed even to do that task.
But I digress. I apologize. Volkswagen, who we are told are experts in the field of engineering, couldn’t match the technology behind Land Rover’s All-Terrain Response. So VW opted to reverse engineer instead. Which is a polite way of saying they copied Land Rover’s 4×4 system. This has a few ramifications, you can’t go about copying because patents have been created and filed and legal declarations have been made. Another two tribes at war thus began.
But this is Volkswagen and they don’t follow rules. They simply copied patent-protected technology. Land Rover was watching and submitted a legal complaint in the U.S. and then tried to block VW Group exports into the USA. The brands included Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and of course Volkswagen, products that featured Land Rover’s patent-protected 4×4 technology.
Apparently, after many years of poking one another, both Land Rover and Volkswagen have now reached a settlement in the form of a licensing agreement which is reputed to be worth around $200M per year. So why didn’t VW seek a licensing agreement from the get-go? The answer is contained within the article. It’s cheaper to copy/paste the technology than add the burden of an expensive licensing agreement on top.
Asking for a licensing agreement is Volkswagen admitting that there really is just an ordinary man behind the pleated curtain. The company has deep pockets to get out of any wrongdoing. And Volkswagen towers over Land Rover. VW simply do as they please because they can afford to clear any mess at a later date no matter the cost. That’s the only logical explanation we can think of.