Having begun its European expansion the next step for China’s Brilliance is the lucrative US market. If everything goes to plan, the company could be shipping models as early as this year or early 2008.

Brilliance already sells the BS4 sedan in Europe and plans to expand this to include the BS6 and an unspecified coupe model. Other models in the pipeline for overseas consumption could include a compact car and a mid-size SUV within three years, reports Reuters.

It’s not clear whether the company will retain the Brilliance brand name or plans to introduce a new brand specifically for the US market. Chinese car makers will need to ensure build quality and reliability are top-notch to compete with Japanese and Korean models. One point in Brilliance’s favour is its partnership with BMW in China, which gives the fledgling company experience in building premium sedans.

Despite this, the BS6 misses out on numerous safety features that are usually equipped as standard these days, such as side and rear airbags, stability and traction control or even a lap-sash seatbelt in the center rear seat. The car runs a 130hp 2.4L four-cylinder engine sourced from Mitsubishi, which pushes the BS6 to 100km/h from rest in a tardy 12 seconds.

It looks like it'll be at least another five years before the world's carmakers begin to feel the might of China.