Geely takes on VW Beetle

Geely takes on VW Beetle


Geely has patented two five-door designs similar to the legendary VW Beetle. And this was done not only in China, but also in Europe. Registration took place at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU IPO).

Geely filed two community registered design applications on June 3, 2021, which were then approved on June 11. RCD grants the owner “exclusive rights in all current and future member states of the European Union”. It is valid for five years and can be renewed for a maximum of 25 years, five years at a time. Geely RCD expires in June 2026.

One of the cars is a novelty from the Shanghai show. It’s a beetle-shaped five-door car with round headlights mounted on sloping fenders and a row of horizontal bars just in front of each front door that covers the charging ports. It even has the same wheels as the show car.

The second design feels more cartoonish and more retro. The 1960s style turn signals and the classic “towel rail” bar between them are larger. The headlights are shaped like slices of toast, giving the car a real face. The wheels are simpler, the tailgate slams into the fender, and the nose has a more pronounced bulge, like in versions of the original 1970s Bug. There is also a duck tail spoiler under the rear window.

While at first glance the designs appear to be two variations of the same vehicle, there are clear differences when viewed from the front and rear. Shanghai has wider fenders, a rounder roof, and a narrower, more squared cutout in the rear hatch. Both Chinese designs look more like the original Beetle than VW’s own modern water-cooled Beetles.

VW previously decided to kill its own Beetle in 2019 and said it has no interest in bringing it back as an electric vehicle. It remains to be seen what the brand management decides about the Chinese novelty.

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