Mad in China: A Brilliant Way To A BMW 523i On The Cheap

Tycho de Feyter
by Tycho de Feyter
em mad in china em a brilliant way to a bmw 523i on the cheap

Let’s say you want a Fünfer BMW, but you are experiencing cash flow issues.

Mei wen ti, no problem if you are in China. Creative and innovative Chinese companies are here to help.

Here is how it works:

First you buy a Brilliance H530. Price starts at 79.800 yuan and ends at 125.800 yuan ($12.800 to $20.200).

Then you buy a BMW-style grille, available in pretty much any color.

The grille comes in a handy set with eight BMW badges and a ’523i’ badge. The complete set costs 450 yuan, or $72. The BMW 523i is not available in China, but the extended 523Li is. It is made in China by none other than the Brilliance-BMW joint venture. Price for the 5Li starts at 428.600 yuan or $68.800. Don’t worry about the 523i not being available in China. People will think you have an expensive import model.

The work starts. Take off that cheapo Brilliance grille. Don’t throw it away! Sell it! This is China, after all.

Replace it with the BMW grille. Don’t have your picture taken if the blog gets read in Munich.

Add BMW badge to the hood. It drops right in.

Add rear BMW badge.

Add BMW badge on steering wheel. No cutting, no welding.

Add BMW badges on alloys. That’s seven badges indeed, number eight is for on the engine.

If you think your friends will never believe you can afford a 5; mei wen ti: Go for the Dreier.

Looks too real in white with racing stripes.

The kit is popular, this seller sold 12 in the last 30 days, hundreds of other small shops sell the same stuff on Taobao, the Chinese eBay. Never believe a BMW to be a BMW in China!

Dutchman Tycho de Feyter runs, a blog about cars in China, from Beijing, China. He also collects die-cast models of Chinese cars.

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  • Redapple2 Barra at evil GM is not worth 20 mill/ yr but dozens (hundreds) of sports players are. Got it. OK.
  • Dusterdude @SCE to AUX , agree CEO pay would equate to a nominal amount if split amongst all UAW members . My point was optics are bad , both total compensation and % increases . IE for example if Mary Barra was paid $10 million including merit bonuses , is that really underpaid ?
  • ToolGuy "At risk of oversimplification, a heat pump takes ambient air, compresses it, and then uses the condenser’s heat to warm up the air it just grabbed from outside."• This description seems fairly dramatically wrong to me.
  • SCE to AUX The UAW may win the battle, but it will lose the war.The mfrs will never agree to job protections, and production outsourcing will match any pay increases won by the union.With most US market cars not produced by Detroit, how many people really care about this strike?