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      09-23-2015, 11:34 AM   #23
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How fortunate is it that the so called spies in the pictures are Asian or should I be more specific and say Chinese.
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      09-23-2015, 01:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Its one thing to take pics of cars at a show. Its another to take macro close ups of leather surfaces or dashboards with little rulers for reference. And also to look at how certain things are engineered on the car like trunk/hood hinges, Nav, instruments, etc.


I saw plenty of CEO's visiting other cars makes. In fact a certian BMW CEO I saw at the Audi and Alfa stands checking out the M4's new competitors.

You mean like this:

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      09-23-2015, 01:37 PM   #25
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He was probably trying to find a place to slip them his resume.
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      09-23-2015, 01:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3m3mr View Post
You mean like this:

I remember that video. He gets upset that Hyundai built a better adjustable steering wheel column.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/vw-marti...ews-12669.html
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      09-23-2015, 02:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3m3mr View Post
You mean like this:
I saw a certain BMW CEO checking out the Alfa stand. And also the same BMW CEO at the Audi stand. I think that is quite normal and good - for everyone. I know that the MB CEO's went to the Porsche stand as well to check out their new concept.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nkc View Post
How fortunate is it that the so called spies in the pictures are Asian or should I be more specific and say Chinese.
The Chinese were all over at the Frankfurt show "looking" and "taking" pictures in minute detail.

Over at the MB hall I saw a German engineer taking very close up pics of the engine bay on the new S-Class coupe and C-Class coupe. He also took pics of how the engine hood and trunk hinges worked. He was the only German I saw doing that. Most I would say were Chinese.

I don't have a problem with people checking out what the competition is offering and how the NAV or certain features work on the car. But I think its wrong for a person to spend an hour, at say that Audi interior mock up and be taking such detailed notes with photos and videos and all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
I remember that video. He gets upset that Hyundai built a better adjustable steering wheel column.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/vw-marti...ews-12669.html
Personally I think Hyundai has made the most progress over the last three IAA/Frankfurt shows. Their cars are getting more and more "premium" with very Germanic styling. I know my friend's who work for BMW AG has even said that Hyundai is on BMW's radar - for being a up and coming competitor in the German market.


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      09-23-2015, 06:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
Is this a serious post?

If the cars are displayed at a damn auto show, even in a pre/press only event, anything visible is not a trade secret, but its very definition. In fact, by not actively preventing people from looking at their displays, they are forfeiting the right to claim it's a trade secret. The cars are sitting there for public display (that includes members of the press). It's all fair game.
I'm with this guy.

Frankly, when I saw a bunch of Asian folks trying to take pics during a factory tour (it was several years ago, but IIRC, it was at BMW in Munich), that would be more apt to be considered industrial espionage. But even then, the tour is open to the public and if they didn't want people to see the technology used to make the cars, they wouldn't offer factor tours.

Once you open anything up to the public, it's all fair game. Would the OP consider it espionage when companies buy cars from other brands to reverse engineer them--a practice that is very widely done? Heck, we've all read magazine articles where they talk about competitor cars that were benchmarked during the development of a particular vehicle.

I'm sure industrial espionage is alive and well in the auto industry, but this isn't it.
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      09-24-2015, 11:00 AM   #29
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I think the basic thing is that it's naïve to think that examining and recording competing products at a trade show isn't a standard and even expected practice - it is. What companies do with that information is a different issue. Chinese companies are rampant in their willingness to just steal intellectual property and the lack of a real legal system there makes it aggravating. By the same token, it seems unlikely they will ever be originators which is ultimately where the greatest gains are made.
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      10-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #30
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Looks like the guy in the last picture is having a games of noughts and crosses.

Seriously benchmarking is done by everyone in theory in order to see what the competition are doing.
Some do resort to Industrial Espionage and technical interpretation as we will see in April when we head to Beijing.

Since the BMW Press Conference was cancelled due to events earlier and postponed to the no press allowed conference in the evening for investors and shareholders. We had more opportunity to investigate the latest offerings in the halls which if you do the whole show it is about 9 miles of course it is not physically possible for an employee on press day.
This happens on nearly every press day and we do get ample opportunity to take a look for ourselves. This will of course happen when the X4 M40i receives its world premiere in Los Angeles and the premiere scheduled for Tokyo.

Some are flattered when you come to their stands and they do keep an ear out to here what you say one example what the "lightest car in its segment" Jaguar XE is heavier than the equivalent 3er or wow The Bentley Bentayga looks like a counterfeit Bentley. Or telling a representative of a US owned company your gearstick came off in my hand. (Opel Astra) They may not like it but it is the industry.

@ BMW not only where they at the barriers watching the latest cars race about our hall but also investigating the BMW Carbon Core and which always gets a repeat visit are the BMWi cars the i3 and i8.
To this day we have yet to see a competitor at the same level many are years behind.

The same goes for the i8 and the attraction of sports car manufacturers. They can accelerate similar amounts of CFRP in super sports cars or hyper cars but cannot on their regular sports cars at the same price of the i8.

I could only eavesdrop from the Rotunda when VAG where at the Carbon Core display where they stayed for a while measuring and investigating every aspect.
And recording every detail. We did catch them at Opel before the shit hit the fan later that week.
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      10-04-2015, 09:17 PM   #31
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I was going to say something, but I'd be banned for racism.
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      10-05-2015, 07:46 PM   #32
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Not surprising at all.
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      10-05-2015, 08:47 PM   #33
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There was an article back some time and I think the story went like this - at a European auto show two (suspected) employees of an Asian car company were caught on a display of an actual cutaway Porsche 959 scraping off shavings of metal from the clutch disc.
May be wrong on the car model but the story was widely reported.
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      01-14-2016, 04:03 AM   #34
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spies...

Looks like I am not the only one not to like all the "spies" at the major auto shows...


Auto Shows Are Filled With Car Companies Spying On Their Rivals
http://jalopnik.com/auto-shows-are-f...=1452720093183
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      01-14-2016, 08:21 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
Is this a serious post?

If the cars are displayed at a damn auto show, even in a pre/press only event, anything visible is not a trade secret, but its very definition. In fact, by not actively preventing people from looking at their displays, they are forfeiting the right to claim it's a trade secret. The cars are sitting there for public display (that includes members of the press). It's all fair game.

I'm sorry, but when you copied and pasted the definition of "industrial espionage", did you happen to take the time to read it?
Also with this guy. Present your product at a show that is open to the public and you expect the competition to be taking in all of the information that is available. If you want to keep it secrete you don't put it in a show where tens of thousands of people look at it.

When building a new competitor to the existing benchmark it is very common to buy one of the "benchmark". You will see M3's running around tracks with ATS V's, or new prototype pickups running next to Ford's. Then you get far more than what you can pick up at a car show with pictures.

2003 Ford GT -
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Ford bought a Ferrari 360 Modena to benchmark and, to the dismay of some executives, disassembled it for reverse engineering (it has since been reassembled for what’s sure to be more-than-aggressive evaluation driving). The GT’s structural stiffness “exceeds the Ferrari’s by a very large margin,” Chassis System Supervisor Huibert Mees claims. He further notes it’s 40-percent stiffer than the Modena.
Far more than taking pictures at a car show but not against the law and based on everyone know I guess not dishonest either.
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      01-14-2016, 08:32 AM   #36
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I abhor industrial espionage as much as the next person and believe that IP must be protected.

That said, this is not truly industrial espionage. It is not covert and the products are on open display. If a database was hacked and the calculations and specifications for the special hinge that MBZ created to have the most silky smooth hinging mechanism on the market, different story.

Please understand, competitors go the the dealership and legally buy the top cars in the markets that they target and deconstruct them in order to get them to reveal their secrets.

A few photo's and measurements taken at a public venue are nothing. For real industrial auto industry espionage think McLaren and Ferrari circa 2007. And I'm a HUGE McLaren fan.

Cheers-mk

P.S. Thanks for the photos, Dackelone! They are always appreciated.
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      01-14-2016, 08:34 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
There was an article back some time and I think the story went like this - at a European auto show two (suspected) employees of an Asian car company were caught on a display of an actual cutaway Porsche 959 scraping off shavings of metal from the clutch disc.
May be wrong on the car model but the story was widely reported.
This would be industrial espionage.
Thanks for the posting!
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      01-14-2016, 08:47 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
Is this a serious post?

If the cars are displayed at a damn auto show, even in a pre/press only event, anything visible is not a trade secret, but its very definition. In fact, by not actively preventing people from looking at their displays, they are forfeiting the right to claim it's a trade secret. The cars are sitting there for public display (that includes members of the press). It's all fair game.

I'm sorry, but when you copied and pasted the definition of "industrial espionage", did you happen to take the time to read it?
Hahaha this. This is a public event. You can do what you want. This isn't espionage. Most automakers were more or less aware of their competitions latest and greatest years prior to the final products at an auto show.

Once the cars go to the public for sale, you bet your ass every manufacturer buy's competitors cars and reverse engineers them. There is nothing illegal about this as long as your design is outside of any patents, which is fairly easy to get around.

http://www.wired.com/2014/07/go-insi...petitors-cars/

Not only that, but automotive parts suppliers are, most of the time, very willing to share things they are working on and designing that are being offered to competitors. They want their product in everyone's hands, not just a few select brands. It's how they make money.

In terms of patents, the supplier providing manufacturers usually holds that crystal ball and is willing to sell them to anyone else willing to buy. The amount of automotive parts that are interchangeable between car lines, car brands, and manufacturers is immense. Obviously the final product is different, but I've heard rumors that the new electircal power steering on the M4 is interchangeable with the ATS-V.
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      01-14-2016, 08:50 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3m3mr View Post
You mean like this:

He should have been under the hood...
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      01-14-2016, 04:27 PM   #40
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Exclamation spies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKSixer View Post

A few photo's and measurements taken at a public venue are nothing. For real industrial auto industry espionage think McLaren and Ferrari circa 2007. And I'm a HUGE McLaren fan.

Cheers-mk
The problem is... Press days are for the PRESS! Not for the competition to spy on each other. Its way out of hand these days. All you need is to come to a major auto show on a "press day".

The other problem is these "spies" will sit/stand there for HOURS taking measurements. Some stands indulge these "guys" more than others.

This year at Frankfurt, I was kind of shocked some people attending brought very small children(under five years old) with them. I saw a few people doing that. I mean what were they thinking!?


Back to Spies... my friend ChrisM135i took this picture at Detroit on Monday's press day. The guy literally would not move from the grill area...

Name:  spies  12417949_1530158680615067_946101829236675639_n.jpg
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P.S. Thanks for the photos, Dackelone! They are always appreciated.
Thanks, I try my best.

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      01-14-2016, 04:31 PM   #41
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I know people who work at Honda R&D (mostly on the Acura side). They buy a large variety of cars simply to evaluate, test, benchmark and I'm sure some reverse engineering is involved. Standard practice.
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      01-14-2016, 04:37 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird View Post
I know people who work at Honda R&D (mostly on the Acura side). They buy a large variety of cars simply to evaluate, test, benchmark and I'm sure some reverse engineering is involved. Standard practice.
Yes, BMW does this too. In fact they have a huge fleet of cars that are available to employees who need to "know" what the competition is up too. Some cars are taken apart to see how they are made. Most are just to drive and make road tests on and compare with BMW products in that class.

But having your people come on press days with micrometers and rulers to measure technical details of cars is going too far - I think. I've seen people take notes. Some take very macro pictures of textures. Some have detailed forms that they will spend an hour or so per car - "testing" while other real press people must find another "free" car to photograph and look at.
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      01-14-2016, 05:16 PM   #43
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Twenty-some years ago the story went something like this.

An employee of an Asian manufacturer ( I'm personally inspired and a big fan of Asian society and the people ) was found on the Porsche 959 actual production cut-away display car, scraping metal off of the clutch/differential mechanism to get a sample for analysis. They may have even arrested but probably just detained the employee.
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      01-15-2016, 07:15 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
The problem is... Press days are for the PRESS! Not for the competition to spy on each other. Its way out of hand these days. All you need is to come to a major auto show on a "press day".

The other problem is these "spies" will sit/stand there for HOURS taking measurements. Some stands indulge these "guys" more than others.

This year at Frankfurt, I was kind of shocked some people attending brought very small children(under five years old) with them.
I saw a few people doing that. I mean what were they thinking!?


Back to Spies... my friend ChrisM135i took this picture at Detroit on Monday's press day. The guy literally would not move from the grill area...

Attachment 1347363

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Thanks, I try my best.

Dackel

I agree that this is a bit much!
Cheers-mk
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