Chinese auto maker Shenyang Brilliance Jinbei Automobile Co. Ltd. reportedly will display vehicles at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Brilliance will join Hong Kong battery maker BYD Co. Ltd., which already has announced it will make a return visit to Detroit in 2009. BYD, which also has an auto-making unit, exhibited at the 2008 Detroit auto show last January.
Brilliance, which has a joint venture with BMW AG in China, has stated its intentions to sell vehicles in the U.S. numerous times over the past few years, including in 2008, but so far has not shipped any units.
Brilliance reportedly did begin exporting its BS4 sedan to Germany in July, where an importer already sells the BS6 sedan.
The Detroit auto show has been the site of numerous appearances in recent years by individuals or firms with intentions of bringing Chinese cars to North America, from entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin in 2005 to Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. in 2006.
However, Changfeng Group Co. Ltd. was the first Chinese auto maker to exhibit on the show floor in Detroit in 2007, returning in 2008.
Meanwhile, Changan Automobile Group, Ford Motor Co.’s JV partner in China, recently announced it had inked a pact to build vehicles for North America at a new Mexican manufacturing plant.
“We have signed an initial agreement with our Mexican partner to make compact and midsized cars there,” Vice President Luo Minggang told Reuters last week. “The plant (will) start operation at the end of 2009 or early 2010.”
He did not name the partner and said vehicles built at the plant, which initially will have capacity of 50,000 units annually, will be first sold in Mexico, with no timetable for introduction in the U.S. due to the current market slump.
However, a Changan executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Reuters last week the auto maker will debut 30 electric vehicles this year in Canada.
The vehicles, co-developed with battery maker Electrovaya Inc. of Canada, are based on Changan’s Ben-Ben model, the executive said.
On its website, Electrovaya says it signed a memorandum of understanding with Chana International Corp., an alias of Changan, “to roll out 30 electric cars over the next few quarters,” but does not specify in which country.