Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cars from China? No thanks!

There's been a lot of buzz in the past about China's car market, and how they were going to dominate the industry. Based on the crash test below, it appears that Germany doesn't have much to worry about just yet!


In German crash test, China's Brilliance BS6 sedan fails miserably

China's Brilliance BS6 is a recent entry into the European market, positioned as a premium-style import sedan at a budget price. Well, after seeing the videos of the car undergoing crash testing using Euro NCAP guidelines at the ADAC (Germany's AAA, essentially) test center, one thing's certain: buyers get what they pay for. The BS6, as currently constructed, appears to be a complete piece of crap. The horrifying 40 mph offset frontal crash test video shows damage that can be described as catastrophic at best. The A-pillar collapses and folds up like a cheap suitcase, forcing the driver's door to pop largely out of its frame, while the lower portion of the car buckles like it's made of recycled pop cans. We wouldn't want to be the driver's legs...or any other part of him for that matter. To open the mangled door afterwards, the ADAC techs needed to use a huge crowbar to get it to budge. ADAC notes that the pedals intruded a foot and a half (32 cm) into the driver's space, while the IP moved in almost 8 inches (20 cm). Needless to say, the BS6 failed the test, garnering just 1 star.

The side-impact video's no picnic, either, as the driver's upper body takes the impact so hard, the injuries sustained would likely prove fatal. For all the crowing about Chinese cars and how they're an inevitability, if this is the kind of safety that they'll bring with them, have fun finding buyers. Back in April, Brilliance's head honcho said that this very model, the BS6, would be imported to the US either later this year or in 2008. You know what? Keep it.

After seeing the car's stellar crash performance in Deutschland, we wouldn't be caught dead in one. The good news for Europeans is that this disastrous test result might be enough to halt sales. That's what happened after the Jiangling Motors' Landwind SUV failed the same test in even more spectacular fashion in late 2005 (see the video below and listen to the ADAC guys crack up after they see the Landwind result in that second link).

Until Chinese automakers get very serious about making and exporting cars that meet commonly-accepted occupant protection standards, the idea of them having any impact whatsoever in the safety-conscious United States market is laughable.

1 comment:

Scott Sommers said...

Thank you for posting this information. It reflects on only on the safety of Chinese cars, but also their general ability to compete in international industrial markets.

This also provides me with a great reference the next time someone tells me that China will be invading Taiwan next week. Now I can truthfully answer, "Not if their tanks are built as well as their cars."