(Yicai Global) April 2 -- China's state-backed Brilliance Auto Group Holdings has appointed Yan Bingzhe, the ex-vice mayor of its hometown Shenyang, as company president following the retirement of its former leader.
Yan has no manufacturing experience, the Liaoning province-based firm said at a press briefing yesterday. However, he has witnessed many of the company's key moments and was present when Brilliance signed joint venture deals with BMW and Renault, the company added. Former President Qi Yumin had been in charge for 13 years before retiring.
The new executive was formerly head of Shenyang's Tiexi district and strongly supported the construction of a BMW factory in the area. He also attended this year's BMW Brilliance Automotive supplier conference on March 26, where the JV said 88 manufacturers from Liaoning made up or two thirds of its suppliers, and these local firms took CNY43.1 billion (USD6.4 billion) in orders from BMW Brilliance last year.
Brilliance Auto has been struggling with its lack of independent research abilities since BMW took control of the joint venture earlier this year, after China eased restrictions on foreign investment in auto partnerships.
The firm has four listed subsidiaries, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, Xinchen China Power Holdings, Shenyang Jinbei Automotive and Shanghai Shenhua Holdings, though they generally suffer poor performance. Its three independent brands -- Zhonghua, Huasong and Jinbei -- all lost money last year. Most of the parent's revenue stems from its partnership with BMW.
The joint venture sold 427,700 vehicles last year, a 10.9 percent annual increase. But Brilliance's self-owned brands flopped, with sales declining 30 percent to just 89,000 units.
Editor: James Boynton