Great Wall Phenom
Great Wall Phenom Concept -- Click above for high-res image

Not to be deterred by the woes and recent fate of Brilliance -- or perhaps, having learned from it -- vehicles from Great Wall, the Chinese automaker, will be imported to Europe next year by the UK-based I.M. Group. Brilliance, you might remember, suffered a disastrous couple of crash tests that doomed the company's chances pretty much everywhere. Even after it rebounded with a much improved design, people couldn't un-see and un-remember the catastrophe that was the BS6, and the company's German importer went under.

I.M. Group already imports Subaru, Isuzu, and Daihatsu. That not only gives it some of the best experience possible in bringing Asian cars to Europe, that means it isn't solely reliant on Great Wall to be a success. As well, I.M. is starting with Eastern Europe, planning imports to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania first, with further expansion planned for 2011.

We'll say for the record that if Great Wall builds the Phenom Concept (pictured) as is, and the car gets a good crash rating, we'd have absolutely no problem giving it a try. Even with a that grille. You can read the I.M. Group's release after the jump.

[Source: I.M. Group]



I.M. Group, the UK-based automotive importer and distributor for Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu, has announced the signing of an agreement that will see it import vehicles from Chinese auto maker, Great Wall Motor Company Limited, into Europe starting next year.

Initially, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be targeted. Then, from 2011, launches in Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland are planned.

The Great Wall Motor Company, one of the few privately-owned Chinese car companies, has designed and built all of the European-bound models specifically to meet EU whole-vehicle type approval standards. This will ensure that Great Wall models deliver high standards of crash-worthiness, equal to those of modern European and Japanese vehicles.

I.M. Group has operated in the Chinese market for over 15 years, and currently employs a team of 40 at its Beijing office.

Further details about the launch of the Great Wall brand will be announced by I.M. Group next year.

About IM Group:
Founded in 1976 as Jensen Parts & Service Ltd, the I.M. Group has grown to become one of the world's most successful automotive import and distribution businesses. The company began importing Subaru models into the UK from 1977, and has maintained a very successful working partnership with the Japanese marque ever since. I.M. Group also imports Daihatsu and Isuzu models, and in 2010 the company will lead the import into Europe of vehicles from Chinese brand Great Wall Motor Company Limited.

With its purpose-built headquarters in Coleshill in the heart of the UK, I.M. Group has additional offices and parts and accessories centres located in Ireland, Sweden and Beijing.

About Great Wall Motor Company (GWM):
Great Wall Motor Company Limited is a large multinational automaker, whose products are sold to more than 120 countries and regions. China's first privately-owned automobile enterprise to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company has more than 30 subsidiaries and over 22,000 members of staff. At present, it has the capacity to build 800,000 vehicles per annum.

Great Wall Motor has achieved rapid growth and remarkable profits for 10 consecutive years. The company was listed among the Forbes Top 100 Chinese Enterprises both in 2007 and 2008. In June 2008, it ranked as one of the 500 Most Valuable Brands in China. In April 2006, it was listed as one of the Recommended Export Brands by China Electromechanical Products Import and Export Chamber.