* Brilliance expecting to finalise deal by year-end
* Tie up would involve special purpose vehicle production
* Toyota says no knowledge of any talks
The state parent of Brilliance China Automotive (1114.HK) is near a deal to make special purpose vehicles in China with Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) and Toyota Motor (7203.T), a company source said on Friday.
Executives at Brilliance Auto, parent of Hong Kong-listed Brilliance, had said previously the company was in discussions with Daimler to convert Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles into special purpose models in China.
However, Ulrich Walker, head of the German carmaker's Northeast Asia operations, said last month that talk of a joint venture between Daimler and Brilliance to make special purpose vehicles in China was just a rumour. [ID:nBJC000451]
Everything is going very smoothly and we're expecting final announcements to come no later than the end of this year, said the Brilliance source, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the deals.
A Toyota spokesman said he had no knowledge about any talks with Brilliance.
Brilliance Auto, located in northern Chinese city of Shenyang, expects to sell 30,000 vehicles made by the two tie-ups each year by 2012, with total annual sales value of 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion), the source said.
Brilliance Auto, the country's eighth-largest automaker and a BMW (BMWG.DE) partner, manufactures BMW 3 series and 5 series sedans at a plant in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang.
The company also exports its own brand sedans to European markets. Its sales in 2008 totaled 41.3 billion yuan.
Growth in car sales in China slowed to single-digits in 2008 before picking up in February this year on improved consumer sentiment thanks to the government's policy support.
A total of 858,300 passenger cars were sold in August, official data showed, paving the way for record sales for the full year. ($1=6.83 yuan) (Additional reporting by Fang Yan in Shanghai; Editing by Valerie Lee)