According to a new report, China's Brilliance Automotive could soon withdraw from the European marketplace.
Slow sales forced the manufacturer's European importer, HSO Motors, to file for bankruptcy last November, the brand since managing its own distribution.
As sales dwindle, Brilliance told media it could be forced to halt all of its European sales. The brand is one of just a few Chinese manufacturers to crack the tough European market.
Brilliance has a shaky start in Europe with is first offering, the BS6, receiving zero out of five stars in Germany's strict ADAC crash test. The brand's stiff pricing also too much for most buyers to digest.
"They (Brilliance) didn’t want to lose any money per car," explained former HSO boss, Hans-Ulrich Sachs."We told them that this is the entry fee you have to pay to get established in Europe."They told us that we should make the investment to cover the shortfall; that we would have to subsidise the brand."
But conflicting reports say Brilliance has no plans to exit Europe with one source saying the Chinese manufacturer will never pull out of Germany or Europe.
"Brilliance will never pull out of Germany and Europe, even though it is confronted with bleak sales and thin profit margins," said the source.
The current Brilliance range only just manages to meet strict Euro IV emissions regulations and will struggle to comply with even tougher Euro V regulations when introduced next year.
"They abandoned Euro IV in less than a year and a half, and will put Euro V in place in the second half," said the source."We can hardly meet the new standards with domestic auto part suppliers. We have to use overseas ones, which will raise our costs."
If Brilliance manages to stay in the game short-term, its long term future isn't promising. A source within BMW, Brilliance’s Chinese partner, saying the manufacturer has given up on meeting the new Euro V standards.
The brand's sales are also well below expectations. Depending on the source, Brilliance has sold between 502 and 4000 units since going on sale in Europe in 2006.