Brilliance Auto

HuaChen Group Auto Holding Co., Ltd.
Traded as Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (FWB: CBA, SEHK: 1114)
Industry Automotive
Headquarters Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Key people
Qi Yumin (Chief Executive Officer and President)
Products Automobiles
Automotive components
Subsidiaries Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (42.48%)[1]
Website Brilliance Website
Brilliance Auto
Simplified Chinese 华晨汽车集团控股有限公司
Traditional Chinese 華晨汽車集團控股有限公司
Literal meaning HuaChen Group Auto Holding Co., Ltd.

Brilliance Auto Group (officially HuaChen Group Auto Holding Co., Ltd.) is a Chinese automobile manufacturer headquartered in Shenyang.[2] Its products include automobiles, microvans, and automotive components.[3] Its principal activity is the design, development, manufacture and sale of passenger cars sold under the Brilliance brand.

Brilliance Auto Group holds a 42.48% shareholding in the Bermuda-incorporated Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited, which is listed on the Frankfurt and Hong Kong stock exchanges.[4] Brilliance China Automotive Holdings in turn holds 50% of BMW Brilliance, a joint venture with BMW which produces, distributes and sells BMW passenger cars in mainland China.[5] Brilliance China Automotive Holdings also holds 60.9% of Shenyang Brilliance JinBei Automobile Co., Ltd., which designs, develops, manufactures and sells minibuses sold under the Jinbei brand.[1]

In 2010, Brilliance Auto Group and its subsidiaries had an annual production capacity of 800,000 vehicles[6] although capacity additions may have come on-line since. In 2012, the company manufactured almost 650,000 vehicles, the 8th-largest production of any Chinese vehicle maker that year.[7] Roughly 70% of production was consumer sedans.


The origins of Brilliance Auto Group can be traced to a state-owned auto factory which, under Yang Rong, became a leading Chinese maker of minibuses between 1991, the year Yang invested in the company, and 2002, when he fled into exile.[8]

In 2003, BMW and Brilliance signed a deal for the production of BMW-branded sedans in China.[9] Its models are, alongside FAW Group Audis and Beijing Benz Mercedes Benzes, some of the only Western luxury cars to have gained popularity in the Chinese market.[10]

Alongside many Chinese automakers looking to enter the US market, Brilliance postponed such plans in 2008 but has briefly sold cars in Europe.[11] Sales in several European countries stopped in 2010.[12]

Brilliance divested itself of the loss-making Zhonghua branch on December 31, 2009,[13] to its ultimate shareholder Huachen Automotive Group Holdings Company Limited, which continues to sell the vehicles Zhonghua makes.

In 2009, the company was the eighth-largest automaker in China.[14] That year it sold over 150,000 passenger cars and nearly 80,000 minibuses.[9]

In 2010, Brilliance was one of the top ten most-productive carmakers in China coming in ninth and selling a half million units.[15]

It produced 523,500 whole vehicles in 2011, ranking eighth among Chinese vehicle makers in terms of production volume.[16]


Brilliance Auto and its subsidiaries sell passenger cars under the Brilliance marque and minibuses under the Jinbei marque.

Brilliance marque products

Logo of the Brilliance marque, which is marketed in China as 中华 (Zhōnghuá)

Brilliance Auto Group currently sells the following products under the Brilliance marque:[17]

Jinbei products

Main article: Jinbei (marque)

Shenyang Brilliance JinBei Automobile currently sells the following products under the Jinbei marque:[17]



While the company also manufactures gasoline engines and other automotive components, automobile manufacture is performed by the indirectly held subsidiaries Shenyang Brilliance JinBei Automobile Co Ltd and BMW Brilliance Automotive Co Ltd of which Brilliance has 33% and 50% ownership respectively.[20] As of June 2011, the company may actually have far less than 33% ownership of Shenyang Jinbei Automotive Co Ltd (SSE: 600609).[21]

Production bases and facilities

BMW-branded autos are made at a production base in the Northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang completed in 2004, and ongoing construction may see this base increase its production capacity to 200,000 units/year by 2012.[22]

An engine-making production base may be located in Mianyang, Sichuan province.[6]

Joint ventures and alliances

A BMW 5-Series LWB produced by BMW Brilliance

BMW Brilliance

Main article: BMW Brilliance

In 2003, BMW and Brilliance agreed to make select products of this German luxury carmaker in China.[9] As of 2010, the joint venture makes the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series and had plans to introduce the BMW X1 by 2012.[23] As of 2011, locally produced engines were slated to appear in some offerings soon, and the company had plans to bring up total production capacity to 300,000 by 2013.[24]

These vehicles may differ slightly from those sold in other markets under the same names. As of mid-2010 almost 60% of the components used to manufacture the China-built BMWs were imported to China.[23]


Brilliance has made microvans with Toyota technology since the early 1990s, but the two do not have a fully fledged joint venture.[25] Their partnership has been described as "licensing arrangements and alliances."[26]


In 2015, Brilliance announced it had started joint production with SAIPA of Iran, to produce the H300 and H200 models, under the local brand name of Saipa.[27]


A total of 188,143 Brilliance marque vehicles were sold in China in 2013, making it the 25th largest-selling car brand in the country in that year (and the 10th largest-selling Chinese brand).[28]

European exports

In 2007, Brilliance's BS6 sedan performed poorly in a crash test conducted by Germany's ADAC, receiving only one out of five possible stars in the Euro NCAP rating.[29] Brilliance then redesigned the car, changing at least sixty components, and it saw a three-star performance in a crash test performed by Spain's Idiada.[30] However, the price also rose considerably,[31] and the importer (HSO Motors) went bankrupt in November 2009.[32] Brilliance then tried to go it alone, but with high pricing and considerable market reluctance after the well-publicized crash test failures, exports to Europe were ended in April 2010 with no immediate plans for resumption.[33]


  1. 1 2 "Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  2. Exiled China tycoon in U.S. clean vehicle plan, Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:50 am EDT
  3. For legal name and private ownership, see PLACING OF EXISTING SHARES BY CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDER Brilliance official site
  4. For location, see Exiled China tycoon in U.S. clean vehicle plan, Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:50 am EDT
  5. For BMW joint venture, see "The fascination of BMW comes to China with CBA". BMW Brilliance Automotive. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
    • For Toyota technology, see
  6. 1 2 Brilliance Auto plans to build 30 special-vehicle production bases Archived November 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., November 8, 2010
  7. "2012年12月分车型前十家生产企业销量排名". China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). January 14, 2013. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013. Please note that in order to reach the 944K figure you must total the output of Brilliance (华晨) as well as Jinbei (金杯)
  8. For Yang turning around a state-owned minibus factory and year fled, see Exiled China tycoon in U.S. clean vehicle plan, Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:50 am EDT
  9. 1 2 3 General Overview Brilliance Auto official site
  10. Shirouzu, Norihiko (June 7, 2011), "Chinese Begin Volvo Overhaul", Wall Street Journal, retrieved 2011-06-09
  11. China's drive into U.S. car market stalls, October 31, 2008: 6:09 am ET
  12. Great Wall sets sights on US, September 13, 2010 (Google cache)
  14. BMW and China partner in $735 mln mainland expansion, Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:13 am EST
  15. China Car Market 101: Who Makes All Those 18 Million Cars?, January 19, 2011
  16. 2011年1-11月前十家汽车生产企业销量排名. China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). December 16, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  17. 1 2 "Chinese Brands". China Auto Web. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  18. "Brilliance FRV photo". Car & Driver. Hearst Magazines.
  19. "Brilliance Huasong 7 MPV". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  20. For engine and component manufacture, see Brands and Products > Automotive Components Brilliance Auto official site
  21. Interim Report 2011 (PDF). Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited. June 30, 2011. p. 17. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  22. For Shenyang production base, see BMW and China partner in $735 mln mainland expansion, Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:13 am EST
  23. 1 2 Brilliance China sees a "very satisfying" profit in 2010, Fri May 28, 2010 1:15 am EDT
  24. Brilliance Interim Report 2011, p. 32
  25. Ying, Tian (December 17, 2009). "Toyota, Brilliance May Expand Cooperation in China (Update1)". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  26. Michael Backman, Charlotte Butler (2003). "Big in Asia: 25 Strategies for Business Success". Big in Asia: 25 Strategies for Business Success. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 252. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  27. Persian Khodro. "Brilliance to Start Production Iran". Persian Khodro. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  28. "2013 Passenger Vehicle Sales by Brand". China Auto Web. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  29. "Another Chinese Car Flunks German Crash Test". Reuters. July 22, 2007.
  30. Kujawska, Joanna (March 18, 2008). "Changes introduced by producer in Brilliance BS6". Autochiny. Archived from the original on September 4, 2011.
  31. "Brilliance BS6 Not as Lethal as Before". September 13, 2007. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008.
  32. Hadyś, Michał (November 7, 2009). "Europe is not for Brilliance, the Importer is Bankrupt". Autochiny. Archived from the original on September 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  33. "China Automaker Brilliance Halts Europe Exports, Executives Say". Crain Communications. April 29, 2010.
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