• Jun 22, 2007
Click above image for photo gallery

China's Brilliance BS6 is a recent entry into the European market, positioned as a premium-style import sedan at a budget price. Well, after seeing the videos of the car undergoing crash testing using Euro NCAP guidelines at the ADAC (Germany's AAA, essentially) test center, one thing's certain: buyers get what they pay for. The BS6, as currently constructed, appears to a complete piece of crap. The horrifying 40 mph offset frontal crash test video shows damage that can be described as catastrophic at best. The A-pillar collapses and folds up like a cheap suitcase, forcing the driver's door to pop largely out of its frame, while the lower portion of the car buckles like it's made of recycled pop cans. We wouldn't want to be the driver's legs...or any other part of him for that matter. To open the mangled door afterwards, the ADAC techs needed to use a huge crowbar to get it to budge. ADAC notes that the pedals intruded a foot and a half (32 cm) into the driver's space, while the IP moved in almost 8 inches (20 cm). Needless to say, the BS6 failed the test, garnering just 1 star.

Follow the jump for more coverage/opinion and the related videos. Thanks to Andy B. for the tip!

[Sources: ADAC (translated) via Autobild, AFX News via Forbes]


The side-impact video's no picnic, either, as the driver's upper body takes the impact so hard, the injuries sustained would likely prove fatal. For all the crowing about Chinese cars and how they're an inevitability, if this is the kind of safety that they'll bring with them, have fun finding buyers. Back in April, Brilliance's head honcho said that this very model, the BS6, would be imported to the US either later this year or in 2008. You know what? Keep it.

After seeing the car's stellar crash performance in Deutschland, we wouldn't be caught dead in one. The good news for Europeans is that this disastrous test result might be enough to halt sales. That's what happened after the Jiangling Motors' Landwind SUV failed the same test in even more spectacular fashion in late 2005 (listen to the ADAC guys crack up after they see the Landwind result in that second link).

Until Chinese automakers get very serious about making and exporting cars that meet commonly-accepted occupant protection standards, the idea of them having any impact whatsoever in the safety-conscious United States market is laughable.

The videos are embedded below, and make sure you check out the stills in the gallery, too.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 105 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it might take like about 15 years for China to compete with brands like Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda

      Korea is fighting Japan and America to be a leader in Autos
      while Japan is fighting Korea to be a leader in Electronics
      1. Samsung(S.Korea)
      2.Sony(Japan)
      3.LG(S.Korea)
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Chinese have no word for "Ralph Nader"

      I've encountered fortune cookies that have put up more resistance to blunt force than that jalopy!
      • 7 Years Ago
      So when does Chrysler start importing this car too? Is this the same mfgr who will make the Hornet?
      • 7 Years Ago
      No huge surprise.

      The NYT had an excellent article on safety concerns in Chinese products a few weeks back. We've all seen the issues with contaminated pet food. Beyond it being contaminated with the poison, it had protein substitutes. Protein is costly, so they replaced it with a product that looked like protein but had no nutritional value, figuring pets don't need protein all that badly.

      The general conclusion was that safety just isn't in the mind of China yet. At the moment those in their economy are giving thought exclusively to how to squeeze more dollars out and not giving any thought to the implications. This is why DEG is showing up in toothpaste from China. It's cheaper, and no one is paying attention to what might happen. They just figure no one will really get hurt, some people will but not enough to matter.


      So why would anyone be surprised that this attitude is carried over into their cars? It's just not part of their culture right now. Safety isn't a concern, they just want to make products that will sell. What happens after that isn't taken into account. In fact, there's really very little accountability for these companies at all. It's a developing industry out there, few checks and balances, few people paying attention, few people realizing they should. It's just what comes with development. The problem is that they're interacting with and exporting to countries that do care.

      They'll catch up, just a question of when. Getting banned in Europe is probably frustrating them, wondering why Europe is too good for their products. They'll adapt. Another question is whether the adaptation is in good faith, and they want to make a safe vehicle, or not, and they just want to find the cheapest way to pass these impact tests and still cut corners anywhere else that they can.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think the retrospective comparisons of these 1st gen Chinese cars to the Korean 1st gen of the 90's or the Japanese of the 70's holds up. When those predecessors entered Western markets they still met the market - the safety standards were much lower and so consumer conditioning and expectations were lower. When the safety curve evolved upwards they were already in the market so they were able to climb with it. But now safety standards and consumer expectations are set high, and this is a catastrophic shortfall. There's no way the market will extend the benefit of the doubt and allow them a development curve to play "catch up." Missing market-entry safety standards is pass-fail. And that means having to shoot even higher on a second try to overcome the residual mistrust for failing on the first.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, I guess it's safe to assume we won't see an F1 car backed by Brilliance at the Montreal gran prix anytime soon.
      gurcan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I believe that the chinese cars improve their performance in the crash tests day by day.. I examined http://www.howchinacar.com/news/17-crash-tests.html and reach that outcome.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shocking. Absolutely shocking.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Let's stay together with Taiwan(Republic of China, Formosa), say no To China(People Republic of China).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Did the manufacturer's quickly do the standard GM/Ford press release, "This test does not represent real-world conditions and should not be of any relevance..."?
        • 7 Years Ago
        LOL this was the funniest and coolest comment i have read in many days LOL thx man
        • 7 Years Ago
        and how is that different from the same statement made by Toyota with the Tundra?
      • 7 Years Ago
      these are quite shocking on their own, but they would be that much more shocking if a comparison of a highest-rated crash test is shown alongside. i think that would really hit the point home at just how dangerous these things really are for the drivers. for instance, here's the 2005 audi a6 (2007 a6 is the best rated premium sedan but i didn't find a video of it) doing the frontal crash at 40 mph.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t33OEWzCJik

      look at the difference. wow. wow.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I know, that's why I said I couldn't find a video of the new A6. Regardless, the 05 A6 got the same rating (good) and is far better than the BS6 and still useful as a comparison, in my opinion.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Laugh at China's designs now, but remember where post WWII Japan was and how far Japan advanced in less than fifty years. China is a 100 times larger than Japan with vast natural resources and a very eager to work non-union labor pool.

      If I were Japan, I'd be VERY worried!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Keep in mind that, after WWII, we pretty much forced democracy and a capitalism-friendly economic system onto Japan. China has neither (although they're getting a little better at the later).

        This makes a difference, even when it comes to something as trivial as making cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well either way, it looks like we'll have about 50 years to laugh.
          • 7 Years Ago

          Sorry, you've less than 25 years to worry. The Japanese hit their stride in the 1970's and it's been downhill for domestics ever since.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Koreans are a far greater threat to Japan than the Chinese--less than 15 years ago, Hyundai's main product was the Excel econocar. Now, Hyundai sells Sonatas and Veracruzes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        There is a difference in culture, however. Japan is about achieving perfection through research and development and paying attention to details. That shows in everything in Japanese culture. They aim for long term success of the brand.

        China is about quickly making POS, selling it, grabbing money and running away while original product deteriorates before buyer's eyes. Chinese business culture is about making a single sell and looking for another idiot to buy a knock-off. For that reason they will not match Japan in quality (I'd say ever); try changing 1.5 billion people's minds.

        Another prove is Korea. It was on the market for as long as China. Korea became a leader in many areas, including electronics and cars, while China remained where it started 15 years ago - making cheap commodities, that look almost like a real thing form the distance, but turn out to be total crap (not to mention toxic and poisonous in many cases because someone at Chinese manufacturer facility decided to save a few bucks)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Please don't compare Chinese cars to Korean ones on safety. Koreans now lead the market in safety getting 5 star crash rating on almost ALL their models. Both the Santa fe and Entourage/Sedona were given 'Top safety Picks' and Gold ratings by both NAFTA and IIHS. Hyundai has the highest standard ESC on its lineup than any non-luxury other manufacturer.

        http://www.hyundaiusa.com/

        You can see all the 5 star crash test results here.
        • 7 Years Ago
        > South Korea is a small country equal in size to a small province of China. S. Korea has fewer natural resources and, has a very unfriendly neighbor to its north. South Korea hardly factors at all in the Asian Pacific equation.

        Yes, 1/40th of Chinese population, 1/3rd of 2006 Chinese GDP. Chinese have a notoriety for being inefficient throughout history. For example, Chinese army had to outnumber their foreign enemy army 10:1 to assure a victory. Fall below this ratio and the Chinese army could lose the battle, such were the case in Tang Vs Korea battle of 675(200,000 Chinese cavalry wiped out by 30,000 Korean infantry), Mongol invasion of China(100K Mongol cavalry defeated China's million-man army and conquered China), Manchu invasion of China(150K Manchu army once again defeated China's million-man army and conquered China), Japanese invasion of China(100K Japanese army ran over China and the combined force of Koumintang and Communist party could not defeat). In modern example, it takes Chery 20,000 Chinese workers to assemble 350,000 cars a year whereas Hyundai's Alabama plant has 2,500 workers assembling 300,000 cars a year. Both suck compared to Kia's Korean plant building Picanto, 900 workers assembling 160,000 cars a year.
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