• Apr 29, 2010
Brilliance BS4 Wagon – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chinese automaker Brilliance is pulling out of Europe with no plans to return, according to Autoweek. The company began selling both its BS4 and BS6 sedans in the old country back in 2007, though sales have been beyond dismal. As of the end of 2009, dealers only managed to move a paltry 502 units – a figure that fell well south of the 158,000 cars the company had planned to sell over a five year period. Throw in the fact that Brilliance refuses to price its products any lower to get its foot in the European door, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

The company fought an uphill battle with consumers after both models had trouble getting past crash test standards in 2007, and things didn't improve from there. For the time being, production has completely stopped, and the company has no timetable for bringing the business back on line.

If Brilliance does decide to jump back into the European market, it will be looking at some pretty hefty engineering costs. The current BS4 and BS6 are only designed to meet Euro 4 standards, and with Euro 5 coming down the pike, the platforms would need to undergo significant updates. Naturally, the news also means that Europeans won't be seeing the lovely BS4 Wagon anytime soon, either.



[Source: Autoweek]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 63 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      That wagon SHOULD look good since I owned an almost identical version of it in almost the exact same color. Except mine was called a Mercedes E320 Platinum Blue Metallic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've said it before and I'll say it again, Chinese automakers need to consult marketing people in the west on branding; that's the name of the cars and the name of the brands.

      When you call yourself Brilliance, and the products fall short of that over-promise, the damage devastating. They really need to rethink their strategy, and realize that other markets aren't like their domestic one. Targeting different cultures require different thinking, and different talent on the employee side.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep, the problem in China (and India) is that they think they have to be extremely literal and obviously luxurious with their names, which is why we end up with these laughably cheesy names. Where the Japanese know that a name like Lexus and Infiniti hints at high-end product, if the chinese named the car, it would literally be called Luxury...or well, Brilliance.

        It's really puzzling that they wouldn't spend the marketing research money to realize that European/North American consumers aren't quite so gullible. You can try to call something luxurious and brilliant for as you want, but if the product is crap, people will catch on to you.



        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Whiskers

        American cars weren't always safe either. Gotta start somewhere... just not with a name like "Brilliance". Having your customers die (and never buy another car) is just bad business.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Amen to everythying said thus far, and I'll add that on top of the fact that naming your company "Brilliance" is like painting a neon-orange target on your back, designating your models "BS" is perhaps rife with potential irony. Especially in light of the fact that those crash test results my friends have just cited seem to indicate the cars are exactly that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        At the risk of getting a million "OMG, stop hating on the Chinese automakers" comments, I looked the crash test results.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M89J5aAIbjA

        Yup. Would not want to be in one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota and Honda are just the main dudes' names, like Ford or Chrysler. Subaru is a star cluster, as their logo indicates. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_(star_cluster)#Names_and_pronunciation
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's surprising is that people actually bought them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's even worse than Cadillac! GM sold 3,029 Cadillacs in Europe in 2007, 2,701 in 2008 and only 1,218 last year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't see any point in mourning this fact, as they must be enjoying spectacular sales in their home market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually they aren't. They are losing market share in China.

        This might be a good time for them to re-assess and re-group, and establish a foothold in their home market before trying to export.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, by this we can assume there are 502 Chinese diplomats working in Europe who have purchased a new car since 2007.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ UncomfortableTruth

        > Japanese and Korean automakers grew because :
        A) their governments effectively closed the domestic market to foreign competition.

        Which is what Chinese government should have done. Now foreigners own Chinese domestic market and dreams of China becoming an automobile export power is crushed forever.

        > B) they had a much smaller internal market, and they realized they had to improve their products in order to export.

        And Chinese automakers don't feel this pressure since their home market is now the largest, and domestic consumers expect only low price from them, not quality or safety. Safety and Quality at premium prices? That's what foreign brands are for.

        > China is on a different path.

        Yes, the path of American automobile industry, which was biggest, but never an automotive export power. Not the path of Japanese and Korean automobile industry.

        > Chery is 12 years old, yet they produced over 2 million cars already.

        Over 2 million cars over 12 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK, so who bought these over-priced death traps? Perhaps there are 502 Europeans with an uncontrollable fetish for all things Chinese? Or was there a you-own-it mandatory demonstrator program?
        • 4 Years Ago
        > And it was dumb Japanese and Korean consumers sticking with local brand when they were inferior turned these Japanese and Korean automakers into world beaters.

        Japanese and Korean automakers grew because :
        A) their governments effectively closed the domestic market to foreign competition.
        B) they had a much smaller internal market, and they realized they had to improve their products in order to export.

        China is on a different path. They will 'get there,' and it will probably take them less time than it did for Japan and Korea.

        Chery is 12 years old, yet they produced over 2 million cars already. Where were Kia and Hyundai when they were 11? BYD is 7, yet they have a realistically achievable sales goal of 800,000 vehicles this year.

        > What success?

        The sales numbers are decent.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ UncomfortableTruth

        > Chinese consumers are not patriotic. They are smart.

        And it was dumb Japanese and Korean consumers sticking with local brand when they were inferior turned these Japanese and Korean automakers into world beaters.

        > You see this is changing with the relative success from Chery's Riich and Geely's Emgrand brands in China.

        What success?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Chinese consumers are not patriotic. They are smart. They will carefully analyze cost-benefit of a product before they buy it. The reason why Chinese wouldn't buy more up market domestic cars is because there were none with quality that justified their price.

        You see this is changing with the relative success from Chery's Riich and Geely's Emgrand brands in China. However, with a huge market and a low average income, there will be a market for low cost cars in China for decades to come.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, it wasn't that chick's fault. Not that she's super hot, I'm just sayin' it wasn't her fault...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The initial car scored a zero in crash testing. I'm surprised they managed to sell as many as they did. If I found out a car had done so poorly in crash testing at any point in its development I wouldn't give it a second chance. All it does is show that this company has absolutely no idea what its doing in regards to safety and likely other aspects of engineering.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The problem is that it's not 1970 anymore. The knowledge and tools are out there, and for any automaker to have the gall to release something that unsafe in 2007 is unconscionable.

        And I don't care that they managed to "fix" it later. Just the fact that something that bad actually made it to gov't certification testing tells me that BYD *did no testing on it whatsoever.* The US, Japanese, Korean, and European automakers all do their own internal crash simulations and testing and know exactly how their cars will do before the cert testing takes place. BYD clearly didn't, and I don't know that I could buy any product from them even with a gun to my head.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Crash testing and safety only became an issue only after the 70s. Prior to that, any car made by pretty much anyone wouldn't have fared much better than the BS6.

        This is a 10-20 year old company we are talking about. They still managed make a 3-star car one year after the BS6's failure.

        http://www.i3china.net/bs4
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ tuna

      > When you call yourself Brilliance, and the products fall short of that over-promise, the damage devastating.

      And which Chinese company doesn't do this? BYD? Geely? Chery? Nanjing? Remember, that's the standard business culture in China.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Remember: Cadillac ... universal symbol of excellence

        oh! how the rest of the world laughed!
        • 4 Years Ago
        And which car company doesn't do this? Remember, that's the standard business culture in the world.

        There, fixed it for you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        wow looks like the south korean propaganda/trolling machine is out in full force today.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if that famous youtube video of one of these cars absolutely disintegrating against the crash barrier had anything to do with it...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The wagon does look good, although I see a lot of 3 series in it, but not only did these cars perform abysmally in crash tests, they also drove like crap, had cheap shiny interiors and were slow...and not cost competitive. Not ready for prime time...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually BS4 was co-developed with BMW. Brilliance is BMW's Chinese joint venture partner.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess that's all the more reason for them (BMW) to be ok with a design similar to their lead homeland competitor (Mercedes-Benz). Wouldn't want to cheapen your own core brand with a lower-cost Chinese knock-off! :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I see more last gen Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon from the side.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Reading this, and the talkbacks, I get a feel for how the Chinese companies do business. It ain't too good, and it proves a point I made once about how the Chinese are no threat the automotive industry and won't be for a long long time because their way of doing things don't jibe with the market.

      They're cheap, they often blatanly lie to their customers, they rip-off designs, and they cut corners in safety when anyone in the industry will tell you that it's the biggest selling point for the average car buyer.

      This sort of mentality works for selling cheap dollar store product because you just build it and then a foreign importer/exporter and distributor take over afterwards. Not a big deal. However, cars are SO regulated that you can't get away with this. Not for a second.

      An argument could even be made that the current rash of recalls isn't just aimed at knocking Toyota off it's throne, but also in sending a message to Chinese automakers that we will destroy anyone... ANYONE, who tries to fudge the "rules" past a certain point.

      I know a lot of people will chime in after me saying that all big business is dishonest, (...maybe you'll even bring up Enron.) but you're mistaken. Big business is filled with sharks and weasels, agreed, but everyone plays by a set of rules anyway. They don't do it out of the goodness of their heart or because they want to play fair. They do it because they want to make money, and there are certain rules that if you break. It makes it worse, and unprofitable, for everyone.
    • Load More Comments