No fewer than five new kids on the block from China are sharing Moscow show space with the more well-known brands although quality still appears to be some way behind the exacting high standards of the big sellers.

Brilliance, one of the better known players, boasted the biggest display area of all the Chinese firms and already has a foothold in Russia.

Its range includes the Focus-sized FRV and elegant-looking M2 saloon although it was the M3 coupe which drew the crowds.

Great Wall is another brand with big ambitions. The Hover is a tough-looking full-size SUV but one of its most interesting machines is the Gwperi supermini - almost a carbon copy of the Fiat Panda.

Quality, fashion and technology were the words above the Chery stand but the firm's models were more on a par with what's being produced by the traditional Russian brands than a threat to anything from Europe or Japan.

It was a similar story with BYD (Build Your Dreams) with a range that's more likely to give you nightmares due to substandard interior quality standards.

And then there's Lifan - a credible alternative to a new Lada certainly but nowhere near credible enough to appeal to the cash-rich new Russian generation.

Perhaps the most likely Chinese company to succeed is FAW who have bought the tooling to produce the first generation Toyota Yaris [aka Echo] - still one of the most desirable superminis around.

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