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]