Brilliance Automotive, BMW’s partner in China, reveals their new A3 model. Bound for Shanghai Motor Show, the A3 compact SUV features an Audi name and closely resembles the popular BMW X1 SAV.
Starting with the front grille and double round headlights, Brilliance A3’s design looks like a cheap knock-off of the BMW design language and its core elements. At the rear, the taillights fortunately doesn’t resemble the ones found on the X1, but still remind of a BMW typical light.
It is reported that the Brilliance A3 SUV will be offered with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine sourced from Mitsubishi’s local division.
Interesting is the fact that BMW has a close partnership with Brilliance Automotive. In November 2009, BMW and its Chinese partner Brilliance announced their plans to build a second production plant at the Shenyang site. The investment volume for the new plant amounts to 560 million euros and the construction work was scheduled to begin in 2010, with the start of production slated for early 2012.
Located in Shenyang in Northeast China, upon completion of the second plant there will be a total annual production capacity of 100,000 units. The production will be ramping up to around 200,000 units by 2012 and BMW plans to establish more production lines in their Chinese plants.
Geely and Shuanghuan are two other Chinese automakers that in the past have been under fire for copying the design of the X5 SAV and Rolls-Royce Phatom, respectively.