While other native automakers strive to go upscale, Brilliance has in recent years focused on developing smaller and cheaper models, extending the Zhonghua line downward to include the FRV, FSV, and H230. And this week its new entry-level car was spied, a supermini that is to compete with Chery QQ, Geely Panda, BYD F0, and Changan Benni in the price range of 30,000-50,000 Yuan.
The exposed model sits on a wheelbase of about 2400mm, and has a relatively tall stance, which helps to increase interior space. It comes with only one windshield wiper, no wiper for the rear window, and LED turning lights on exterior mirrors. The dashboard design seems inspired by Toyota Yaris. Basic comfort features are provided, including A.C., MP3 player, and power windows.
The upcoming mini car is likely to get two engine options: a 0.85L (BM085L) and a 1.0L (BM10L), both from Brilliance. For gearbox, an AMT (semi-automatic transmission) may be offered besides the MT spied.
Despite worsening air quality and traffic congestion, Chinese consumers seem increasingly attracted to bigger cars. In 2012, while the overall passenger vehicle market expanded 6.8% from a year earlier, sales of both luxury and SUV models went up over 20%; by contrast, the "A00" sector (covering cars having a wheelbase of about 2400mm or less) shrank 19.3%. Brilliance has a tough ride ahead.
(The pics above are from auto.sina.com.cn)