SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd, BMW's partner in China, is preparing to ship its BS4 mid-sized station wagon to Europe, company executives said on Wednesday.
Brilliance, the only Chinese automaker that has broken into the European market, has sold roughly 4,000 of its mid-sized BS4 and larger BS6 sedans since 2007.
"We are going through regulatory procedures currently in Europe trying to get our BS4 wagon into the market," an executive with Brilliance's export unit said.
Another senior executive with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed the firm's plan to ship the BS4 wagon to Europe, adding the firm was expected to clear all regulatory requirements before the end of the year.
The size of the shipment and price of the models have yet to be decided, said the executives, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Brilliance displayed a near-production version of the BS4 wagon at the Geneva auto show in March. At that time the company's importer, HSO Motors Europe, said the car's starting price would be between 18,000 euros and 19,000 euros (about $25,965 to $27,405).
The BS4 wagon, equipped with 1.8- and 2.0-liter engines, was rolled out in China in late-2008 priced at between 108,800 to 138,800 yuan ($15,930-$20,320), company data showed.
Poor crash tests
Brilliance is among a growing number of Chinese automakers, including SAIC Motor Corp. and Geely Automobile Holdings, that are hoping to emulate the global success of Toyota Motor Corp.
Brilliance entered the European market in 2007 with the launch of the BS6, but poor scores on a crash test stalled sales. The companys second car for Europe, the BS4 was launched last autumn.
Brilliance says that independent tests of the BS4 and BS6 show that each would receive at least a three-star rating from EuroNCAP. The top score is five stars. Carmakers that do well on the test often use the results to market their cars. EuroNCAP is an EU government-supported car-testing organization.
State-owned Brilliance is BMWs joint venture partner in China. The partners make the 3 series and 5 series for the Chinese market. Brilliance is based in Shenyang, near Chinas border with North Korea.
Brilliance sold 285,242 vehicles in 2008, ranking eighth among Chinese automakers, data from the country's official auto association showed.
Yufei Wan, chief of Brilliance's international trade arm, said the automaker aims to produce 500,000 to 800,000 vehicles a year in three to five years.