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Buick In China


RDMSTER
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In an interesting article in the business section of the 11/15/11 New York Times the success of the Buick brand in that most important market of China was discussed ( sales of over 550,000 in'10).Chinese auto market experts quoted in the aticle stated that the Buick brand was held in high esteem for the products it offers there as well as for it's history as the car of choice of their last emperor,as well as the country's first provisional president Dr. Sun Yat-sen and People's Republic Of China's first premier Zhou Enlai. Audi was similarly well regarded,but Mercedes was seen by many Chinese as an old persons car and BMW had a somewhat tainted image as a vehicle for the arrogant,rash,and possibly corrupt. A Chinese auto reporter was quoted as saying " We joke that our market revived Buick from the dead-it's only partly a joke" Only partly a joke indeed.

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My wife and I visited China in 2010 spending most of the time in and around Bejhing. In addition to being amazed and a bit frightened at how large, modern, and "Western" it was we were surprised at how many Buicks we saw. Some models were very similar to US cars but some quite different such as a very large minivan style that they do not sell here. We saw other US makes but Buick was the most common.

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Actually, well before any bailout situations, when many USA corporations started to have very significant presences in China, many people were caught off guard when GM stated that if it were not for GM products being sold in China, GM would NOT have made a profit that particular year. This revelation was something like 10 years ago? That revelation also pre-dated such things as $2.00/gallon gasoline and other things which caused the USA vehicle market to decline over the past years.

In one of Pat Brooks' articles in "THE BUGLE" about his and his wife's participation in the road rallye which went through China, he mentioned that they were in a smaller town for a rest stop (or possibly an overnight stop). One older Chinese gentleman took him to a storage garage where he had a 1957 Buick. It was not a fancy Buick, but it was still a Buick and THAT was all that mattered to him.

Remember, too, that Buick was the GM Export Brand since the earlier times of General Motors. I suspect the roomy interiors and smooooooth ride were significant luxury features in those earlier times.

With all due respect, the Chinese citizens' love of Buicks is at least ONE century old, not just recently.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Something that needs confirmation but it think that one model of Buick that sold well in China was a variant of the Australian-built Holden Commodore - the model that the - shorter wheelbase - Pontiac GTO of the early 2000s was based on. The same car was sold as a Chevrolet in the Middle East and also maybe in South America. I don't know the current situation but they might still be selling the model that the Pontiac G8 was based on - it has been around since 2006. The same car was also being promoted to the US as a police cruiser with Chevrolet badges.

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The Australian built long wheel Holden Caprice badged a Buick was sold in China. V6 engines are made in Australia (cast & machined etc)

Holden Caprice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Internationally, Statesmans and Caprices are sold as the Buick Park Avenue, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Daewoo Veritas. Previously, Statesmans have been badged as the Buick Royaum and Daewoo Statesman.

< snip >

In 2005, General Motors began exporting the Statesman to China, where it was badged as the Buick Royaum. The Royaum was initially equipped with the 3.6 litre Alloytec engine fitted to the Statesman, however a 155-kilowatt (208 hp) 2.8 litre version of the same followed later in the year.[33]

< snip >

Like the second generation model, the WM is exported to the Middle East as the Chevrolet Caprice. In China since 2007, the sister model had been produced as the Buick Park Avenue, mainly using locally sourced parts and sharing some globally sourced parts.[41]

Reported in newspapers here in Australia a few days ago GM Adelaide are building some police cruiser for some US state. Rear wheel drive with V8's

Holden Caprice based police pursuit cop car

Chevrolet Caprice PPV - GM confirms more Holden cop car deliveries | GoAuto

11 July 2011 By MARTON PETTENDY

CHEVROLET has revealed first details of Holden’s US police car export program just days after it emerged that a number of unmarked Commodore-based detective vehicles were sold to private US citizens, but remains tight-lipped about exact sales numbers.

US website Jalopnik recently reported that a Maryland car dealer had sold a small number of Holden’s Australian-made Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) to local individuals after advertising a total of 13 modified Detective vehicles for sale on its website.

Last week General Motors told Automotive News it had closed a legal loophole that allowed dealers like Criswell Chevrolet to sell PPVs to non-governmental customers,..........

Edited by 1939_buick (see edit history)
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To see what's being sold in China, you can go the GM-China website. If you can't read the language, at least you can look at the pictures and numbers, but I think there are some translation websites you can also access. A few years ago, it was neat to still see stand-up hood ornaments on Chinese Buicks.

Similarly, there is a Holden website. There's also a USA Chevrolet Caprice PPV website, too.

Regards,

NTX5467

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