• Nov 11, 2009
When Chinese automaker Brilliance wanted to invade The Continent, it chose Germany-based importer HSO Motors to introduce models like its BS4. Brilliance kept up its end of the agreement, shipping cars to HSO; HSO, however, couldn't get the cars sold, and a little more than a year into the partnership HSO has gone bankrupt.

Three reasons are blamed for the flame-out: the crash test videos for the BS4 and BS6, along with pricing. If you'll remember, when the German ADAC tested the Brilliance BS6, the result was a horror film that would have frightened Freddy Krueger with an official rating of zero stars. After a great deal of improvements and added equipment were put on the BS4, tested two years later, the results were much more palatable -- yet the car still received just three stars. The ADAC's had raised its testing standards, so what would have earned the BS4 a three-star rating under the old methods was only good for zero this time around. That didn't make German buyers comfortable.

The ADAC's testing methods have been labeled unfair, and it's been noted that the ADAC is not a regulatory body. Yet other cars tested under the new methods, like the Skoda Yeti and Honda Jazz, earned five stars. Beyond that, the BS4 is priced at about €16,000 ($24,000 U.S.). Even though it's larger, it's priced against cars like the Focus and Golf, and well above a Skoda Octavia. As a maker trying to earn its way into the field of German car offerings, Brilliance will need to go well beyond the norm to to make its case. For now, Brilliance has taken over HSO Motors' role as importer.

[Source: Euro Car Blog]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      is it just me does that car looks like a mix of BMW, Jag, Hyundai sonata, and a little volvo...and maybe some others
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wihle I do see those cues (especially a lot of the last-gen Sonata), statements like this about Chinese and Korean cars are getting old. Name one vehicle made today that doesn't have several styling cues similar to another. At least it's not an outright clone like some of the Chinese vehicles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ryuryuryturtuy: It is congruent. In just about any article that discusses a new Hyundai or Kia model, someone says that they look like some other car. It's getting really old.
        Stop
        • 5 Years Ago
        "statements like this about Chinese and Korean cars are getting old"

        Don't compare, just the fact you put Korean and qinese in the same sentence you're being incongruent.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's the idea. Chinese "lifted millions out of poverty" by just shameless stealing of everything (of course with the full cooperation of Western greedy executives and boards). And yet, they manage to produce total garbage, year after year. Who in their sound mind would buy a chinese car? They can't make even a kettle or soap dispenser last a year. Or maybe they can but don't want to, they want to lift another billion out poverty by producing garbage. Who cares that in the process they shamelessly deplete natural resources. Chinese plant - ship - Wal-Mart - short stay in household - garbage dump, and all over again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, its face is clearly BMW-inspired.

        First Lexus were Mercedes-like as well. But look Lexus cars now.

        It's a start. Everything evolves. The most recent example are korean cars, late ones are looking good.

        If it's priced like a Focus, or above an Octavia, I don't think they will sell many (not even some). They say ADAC tests are unfair? Why? Because they test all cars the same way and this one showed to be pretty unsafe? The occupant's airbag broke the front glass !!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, Don't you know the Brilliance cars were designed by Italdesign Giugiaro?
      • 5 Years Ago
      For all the criticism on these cars, one fact has to be acknowledged: They still look better than the Dodge Avenger/Chrysler Sebring sedans monstrosity.

        • 5 Years Ago
        The Sebring and Avenger might be decent in crash tests but I'd rather crash in a BS4 than a Dodge Neon (many are still on the roads). I've seen someone manage to survive a high speed accident in their Neon although they broke 19 different bones and injured their brain and spent months in a coma when someone in a safer car could have walked away.
      • 5 Years Ago
      (not so) BRILLIANT!
      • 5 Years Ago
      $24,000?! Ouch.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, I agree the crash test videos had a lot to do with the downfall. Also, the pricing. Only Hyundai and Kia could get away with this strategy-because their cars are that good. And let's not forget the name. Let's be honest, would you buy a car with the name BS? I think not.

      Brillaince's best options: 1) Redesign the car. 2) Give it better build and safety quality. 3) Make the price more competitive. 4) And for goodness sake, please come up with a better name. BS = Rolling crap pile.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It really doesn't seem like they were trying to break into the EU market if they priced this thing at $24,000. I mean you're basically guaranteeing failure at that kinda price, I mean even if the car was good most people would just buy an established brand anyways.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well put, Hypermiler.

        But the Chinese consumers (at least the wealthier ones) are fast coming to senses, so Brilliance better have something, hopefully quality and originality, to compete with the other fierce competitors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Hoov23

        > Chinese cars will eventually be just as accepted as Korean, Japanese, and Eastern European cars in the West

        Well, those Eastern European(Dacia and Skoda) auto companies are actually owned by Renault and VW, and their models are engineered in France and Germany. Eastern European contribution is labor only.

        If we are talking about Eastern European engineered cars from Eastern European owned companies, that's a totally different story.

        > When they realize that we want to be safe in crashes

        Chinese drivers don't care about safety. Heck, they would actually opt out of airbag if that saves them $200 off.

        > we don't want the factories that build our cars to pollute the environment, and we respect intellectual property rights, then they will have a chance.

        That's why Chinese doesn't have a chance.

        Anybody who says Chinese automakers will become like Japanese and Korean in 10 years automakers are totally clueless.

        Anybody who says Chinese automakers will never become a significant factor in the US and EU markets understand Chinese auto market and makers very well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chinese cars will eventually be just as accepted as Korean, Japanese, and Eastern European cars in the West, but that time is still a way off. Safety standards and testing methods were very different back when Honda wanted in, and when Hyundai was coming to the States it probably was about as safe as the '86 Ford Escort. But nowadays we've come to our senses, while the Chinese are more concerned with making money off the gullible wealthy nations of the world and increasing it's government's arrogance. When they realize that we want to be safe in crashes, we don't want the factories that build our cars to pollute the environment, and we respect intellectual property rights, then they will have a chance. They got too close with HSO, I'm glad it isn't going to happen yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. Really? B-S is their naming lingo for their whole lineup of cars? Ouch. Even in non-English speaking countries, that certainly wasn't going to help sales.
      Stop
      • 5 Years Ago
      brilliant failure. let's hope they keep them on qina only.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BS4....no wonder the importer went belly up. Lesson 1 in "how to sell a car": don't choose a crappy name for an already crappy product that looks like a half-@ssed knockoff.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To quote Nelson from the SImpsons: Ha Haaaah!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't it better to start selling cheap Chinese cars in Europe first?
      There are some in the $5,000-7,000 range.
      http://green.autoblog.com/2008/03/03/the-ten-cheapest-cars-in-the-world/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh I do hope they name their next line of cars SM4 or SM6, because that's what you would have to be into to buy a car like this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Clearly, the concept of sarcasm is beyond your grasp.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Arkz

        > Oh I do hope they name their next line of cars SM4 or SM6, because that's what you would have to be into to buy a car like this.

        "SM-X"(SM-3, SM-5, SM-7) is the model naming convention of Renault Korea whose models that Penske wanted to import and distribute through Saturn dealership network. That deal fell apart because Nissan was balked at the idea of having to compete with Renault Korea's SM-X series in the US, which had a reputation of superior quality to Nissans and Infinitis.
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