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Brilliance: Zero Points in Crash-Test Safety and Passenger Protection

The Chinese brand Brilliance is – unlike in Europe - selling a few hundred cars in some developing and Third World countries, where safety doesn't play such an important role. Egypt is unfortunately one of these countries were car companies do not pay much attention to the safety of their clients and consequently pay no attention at all to the passive and active safety of their cars. And Brilliance Egypt is a very good – or shall I rather say 'bad' – example for that.

Through misleading information and misleading advertisement campaigns the 'Bavarian Auto Group', which is among other importer and assembler of BMW, Brilliance, Mahindra and MINI in Egypt, succeeded in 'convincing' the Egyptian public and the Egyptian customers that Brilliance cars are among the safest cars worldwide.

Now, this big lie has been confuted and the opposite was proved, showing how Bavarian Auto Group is misleading the Egyptian public and at the same time jeopardizing the image and credibility of the renowned German brand BMW, since there is now another very embarrassing crash-test and safety result for Brilliance.

After the devastating result for the mid-size Brilliance Galena (BS6) in the EuroNCAP crash-test in 2007, the smaller model of Brilliance, the Splendor (BS4), now even topped the previous catastrophic crash-test result by receiving only zero points out of five possible points in the German ADAC Crash-test, which is one of the most renowned and strict crash-tests world-wide.

Not only – according to the advertisements of Bavarian Auto Group – is 'the Brilliance assembled on the same assembly line like the locally-assembled BMWs' but they also share several components in the assembling process!

Nevertheless, all these misleading information and advertisements could not hinder the publication of the catastrophic results of the German ADAC crash-test and also the European EuroNCAP crash-test in the independent Egyptian automotive media, as we had featured this crash-test results in one of our previous issue of Auto Arabia Magazine as well as on our website.

And while the 'bigger' Brilliance Galena model received 1 or 2 points in some parts of the EuroNCAP crash-test and failed completely in the other sections of the crash-test, the 'smaller' Brilliance Splendor model couldn't receive even one point in the German crash-test.

Back in 2007 the Brilliance mother-company withdrew the Brilliance Galena (BS6) from the international markets until they improve the safety features of its models.

In Egypt of course nothing similar was done in order to save Egyptian customers or Brilliance owners from getting hurt in any accident. On the contrary: When the crash-test result were revealed in our magazine and our website, the Bavarian Auto Group (BAG) intensified immediately their advertising campaigns in local newspaper and some magazine praising the 'unique and extraordinary' active and passive safety features, in order to 'distract' readers and potential buyers from this serious safety issue.

Unfortunately some magazines and newspaper published those paid editorials and advertorials without paying any attention to their journalistic responsibility towards their readers. But this is a totally different story which we will analyze at a different occasion.

Back to the Brilliance crash-test. The German crash-tester and the German Automobile Club said the Brilliance Splendor (BS4) is using very old safety-technology from the 90s.

The floor of the Brilliance was torn in pieces at the frontal crash. The dash-board including the sharp-ended and uncovered steel parts beneath it enter into the passenger cabin, thereby creating serious injuries to the driver and the front passenger.

I hope that all the large newspapers like Al-Ahram, Akhbar El Yom, El Gomhuria, El Masry El Youm, etc. will publish this crash-test result and inform their readers about this serious safety issue.

And I hope that also the large insurance companies like Allianz and all the others will take these crash-test results into consideration when ensuring such dangerous cars and their owners in the future. Because the safer the car is, the better the passengers are protected in an accident – and therefore will cost the insurance companies less at the end.

I wonder how long BMW in Germany will accept to be associated with this Chinese brand and its negative image in Egypt.


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Readers Comments:

Amro Hasan from Cairo - Egypt wrote:
I wish someone from your magazine answers me this. Why u r so much against the Bavarian Auto Group in almost every article you publish.
I am asking you this because I need to view your publication as a credible institution. I visited the Bavarian group in Kattamia lately to check t 3Series Coupe and they were very nice to me and their salesman insisted to show me the 7series and let me inside it even, if my appearance doesn’t indicate that I am a 7series customer.
I like the 3series Coupe very much and I may invest in it when the prices stabilize. Meanwhile, I can’t ignore your perspective. Please enlighten me!

Editors response:
Dear Amro,

Thank you for your comment. I am very happy for you that you have had a positive experience at BMW Egypt / Bavarian Auto Group. You can surely count yourself as a lucky guy, because most comments and reader’s letter we receive describe a rather negative experience, regarding the customer service, after-sales service, customer care, etc. You can read many of such comments in our Auto Arabia group on .

We ourselves at Auto Arabia only experienced negative impressions, especially since the German management headed by the experienced Ulrich Urban left the company and the new Egyptian management with a completely un-experienced and automotive greenhorn called Farid El Tobgui took over, together with a completely incompetent and shady marketing & sales department.

Also do not forget that BMW Egypt is hardly selling any cars in the past months, and therefore now treat every young and mature potential client with 110 % of respect and try to pamper and indulge them as much as possible.

Of course this does diminish in any way our huge respect to the BMW company in Germany and the Made-In-Germany BMW cars, which are some of the best automobiles worldwide. That is also one of the reasons why the editor and publisher of Auto Arabia has been driving BMW all his life.

But the quality of the Made-In-Egypt BMW cars and the management skills of the amateurs at BMW Egypt / Bavarian Auto Group is a totally different story.

As an independent media we understand it as our duty to enlighten the customer in Egypt about the way BMW Egypt is treating its customers and we also see it as our duty to inform the BMW headquarter in Munich about what is going on with its brand in Egypt.

It is for the above-mentioned reason why the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency CPA filed a lawsuit recently against BMW Egypt / Bavarian Auto Group and won it for the favor of BMW client who had severe problems with BMW Egypt and his BMW 5 series.

Also note that the Egyptian government had recently opened an investigation against BMW Egypt / Bavarian Auto Group because there were rumors that BMW imported some BMW models with a 2.0 engine and declared them as 1.6 engine, in order to save 200 million LE of customs. The fine, if this case goes to court and finds BMW Egypt guilty, would be 400 million LE.

All the above-mentioned are just a few reasons why the image of BMW in Egypt is suffering a lot.

I hope this answers your question.


Mohamed El-Shennawy from Cairo - Egypt wrote:
People who solely rely on reading advertorials in newspaper to buy a car and risking their life and the life of their beloved ones should regard this as a wake-up call. Such a life-time investement should only be selected after keen and profound researchin specialized, objective, reliable and last but not least INDEPENDENT automotive media, which is usually the only source of reliable information!
Where is the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency CPA? Why didn't they withdraw the car from the market and protect the public? Why didn't the CPA punish the Bavarian Auto Group for publishing mis-leading and fatal data? How can a car company dare to kill people who are an asset to their country by manufacturing an unsafe car? Why doesn't the Egyptian government implement progressive taxes on cars according to their security and safety levels like the progressive taxes in Europe determined according to the CO2 emission? Even the insurance premium in Europe and the USA is based on the safety of the car.

Editors response:
Interesting questions, Mohamed.
Maybe the Consumer Protection Agency CPA will send us some answers soon.

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