China's Brilliance Auto has shipped its first batch of BS4 compact sedans (pictured) to Germany where the cars will join the existing BS6 in the country's competitive executive saloon market. Brilliance is still building a presence in Europe and as such only 270 units are being shipped initially, still a bigger number than the previous batch of BS6 sedans.

Brilliance has already secured a deal to import up to 158,000 vehicles to Europe over the next five years but convincing buyers that their vehicles are safe is still a major hurdle. Brilliance is BMW's official partner in China – something that could explain the similarities in styling between the two carmakers – and manufacturers several BMW models in China including the 3 and 5-series sedans.

Germany's ADAC automotive regulatory body gave the BS6 a poor one-star rating for crash safety last year. The BS4 recently received a three-star rating in a crash test this year by IDIADA, an official test house with the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), reports Automotive News. Other European countries Brilliance is targeting include Switzerland, France and Spain.

The BS4 features a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder engine, available with outputs of 148hp (110kW) or 168hp (125kW).