The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

One of the hottest car brands in China? Try Buick!

Where have all the Hot Buick Sedan Designers Gone, Long time passing?

Where have all the Buick Designers Gone, Long time ago?

Where have all the Buick Designers Gone, Gone to China Every One,

When will they ever learn, (to stop focusing on SUV's, Trucks & Crossovers in Detroit)

When will they ever learn?

Well, they've gone to China, as evidenced in most of the excellent-looking Buick of China lineup. The snippet of article below backs that up:

One of the hottest car brands in China? Try Buick!

Yes, Buick, that old fogey U.S. brand that even spokesman Tiger Woods can't seem to cure of its old man smell. In China, Buick might as well be BMW, although the Germans are here in force, too.

To add to the weird factor, while General Motors has opted for nonsensical names for its Buick models in North America, it's kept its mojo in China. So, instead of lame names such as the Canadian-built LaCrosse (deemed so naughty a name in Quebec that GM had to rebadge it Allure for Canadian buyers), the Chinese get the Park Avenue and the Regal, a lower midmarket sedan called the Excelle and a large family wagon called the GL8. (A Chinese-built version of the LaCrosse is here as a Camry fighter.)

Buick may have lost its history in the U.S., where the brand is down to just two sedans and some sluggish-selling SUV models, but it's a force in China. After selling just 19,826 units in China in 1999, sales have soared to more than 250,000 and are estimated to have totalled 303,000 in 2006.

This year, barring a miracle comeback in the U.S., Buick China will easily outsell the U.S. market. If it's embarrassing to the Detroit brass, they are certainly putting on brave faces.
"Buick's already bigger here in China than in the U.S. That doesn't bother me at all," said Rick Wagoner, GM's chairman and chief executive, at the Shanghai show. "I think it is one of those things that doing well in China has actually enhanced the viability of Buick in the U.S."
Unlike in North America, where the Buick lineup, resources and dealer lineup have shrunk pretty much in lockstep, GM and its 50/50 Chinese partner are pumping money into Buick as a Chinese luxury brand.

One of the showstoppers in Shanghai was the Buick Riviera coupe concept car. Complete with gullwing doors and engineering to fit a new Chinesemade hybrid system slated for production in 2008, the car was notable for where and how it made its return after an eightyear absence for the Riviera name.

Sure, GM may have sold 1.1 million of them between 1963 and 1999, but it took a Chinese joint venture to (apparently) give it new life.

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