Guess Who Saved the Buick?–China

August 24, 2010

By John Newcomer:

When GM filed for bankruptcy last year it agreed that in exchange for federal bailout money it would eliminate half of its brands. The Buick seemed like an obvious choice to move to the salvage yard.  After all, how many Buicks do you see on the roads here in America? But go to China, and it is a different story.

The last emperor of China –Henry P’uYi was a great fan of the Buick.  In China, the Buick is looked upon as an upscale auto and a favorite of the upper middle class of China. Demand is so strong in China that GM sells 4 times more Buicks in China than it does here in the U.S.  What??? Yes, in 2009 Buick sold only 102,300 cars in the U.S. compared to 447,000 Buicks sold  in China.

So what do the Chinese know that we don’t? Well for one, the Buick Lacrosse was voted most dependable car for 2009 and safest for 2010. But alas, apparently Buick suffers an image problem in the United States that it does not have in China.  Here we look at the Buick as an “old person’s” car.  Well, it’s not your grandmother’s Buick anymore.  In China, it is an upscale sedan to be looked upon in awe.

A tip of the hat to the Chinese for saving a great American automobile.