By on May 13, 2010

Those Chinese sure are tenacious. After European Brilliance importer HSO went bankrupt last November, after Brilliance wrote a whopping loss for 2009 while the Chinese market went through the roof, after Brilliance announced that they had stopped all exports to Europe (there wasn’t much to stop,) one would have thought that China’s Brilliance thoroughly had it with exporting to Europe or any of the first world countries. But no …

China’s Brilliance is back in Europe. They just moved into offices in Ginsheim, Germany. Not far from Opel and the Frankfurt Airport, Brilliance opened its own European headquarters, under the name “Shenhua Europe GmbH.”  Shanghai listed Shenhua Holdings is the parent company of Brilliance.

Instead with an importer, Brilliance’s parent goes it alone in Europe this time around. Brilliance and the unfortunate Hans-Ulrich Sachs, the former VW sales chief, who has made it his mission to bestow Brilliance cars on a reluctant Europe, must not have parted ways amicably. Sachs blamed Brilliance for being too expensive. A good deal of Brilliance’s 2009 loss could have been caused by the Sachs debacle. No wonder they don’t trust anybody.

As a first step, Shenhua Europe will take over the aftersales activities for the (rather few) Brilliance cars that had been sold to Europe. Shenhua Europe will deliver parts, process warranty claims, take care of dealers. That doesn’t need a whole company, it could be done by a traveling salesman. It’s unknown how many cars Brilliance has sold (they don’t register in any statistics.)  Many of them were probably bought by European car manufacturers with the intent of smashing them to pieces in front of rolling cameras, pour l’encouragement des autres. Let’s guess: In 2009, all Chinese car manufacturers exported 745 cars to all of the EU. Amongst those, maybe a few from Brilliance.

Brilliance wants to change that: “Over the long term, Brilliance wants to establish itself in Europe with its products,” said Eberhard Nierig, Managing Director of Shenhua Europe, to Das Autohaus. They need a lot of luck and a lot of stamina. The European market is shrinking, and established brands are fighting for their survival. Cornered, wounded animals are dangerous. Especially for babes in the woods.

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