China's Brilliance Ex-CEO Bilking Billions for U.S. Auto Factory Scam?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
china s brilliance ex ceo bilking billions for u s auto factory scam

If it sounds too good to be true, someone somewhere is scamming someone somewhere. This morning’s story in Automotive News [AN, sub] would almost have us believe that former Brilliance automotive CEO Yang Rong is “leading a venture to build a $6.5 billion auto plant in northern Mississippi, where he would hire 25,000 workers to eventually produce 1 million cars a year.” ‘Cause, you know, the U.S. market has room for another mainstream automotive brand. To its credit, AN sees a few problems with the concept: “It would be easy to dismiss his proposal out of hand. The plan has no brand, products or retail network. But Yang oversaw a rise from nowhere in Brilliance’s fortunes in the 1990s, and he has been attracting money from some of China’s wealthy residents.” The last part of that statement is the most credible; and it doesn’t bode well for anyone gullible enough to invest in Rong’s visionary vehicles. Oh, and Uncle Sam’s part of the scam . . .

Vincent Wang, Yang’s associate and one of three key project players with the name Wang, spoke with Automotive News on behalf of Yang because of the industrialist’s limited English. Wang said the project will attract auto investors through a special U.S. visa program called EB-5. That program, created in 1990, encourages wealthy foreigners to invest in the United States.

A commercial investment of $1 million, or $500,000 if made in an economically distressed area such as northern Mississippi, qualifies a foreign family for a permanent-resident green card. “A lot of people in China want to move some of their money out of China,” Wang said.

There’s a lot of history behind Mr. Rong; none of it would lead you to believe that your money would be safe in his hands. In short, if loving Rong is right, I don’t want to right.

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2 of 14 comments
  • YZS YZS on Sep 01, 2009

    They only became a car company in 1992, and they've done pretty well for themselves so far.

  • JAG64 JAG64 on Oct 05, 2009

    Guys, Please keep the comments clean of racist remarks.

  • Teddyc73 A resounding NO. This has "Democrat" "Socialism" "liberalism" "Progressivism" and "Communism" written all over it.
  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)