• May 4, 2007
UPDATE:
click above image to view more high-res pics of the Buick Park Avenue for China

We think it's safe to say that most were impressed with the Zeta-based Buick Park Avenue that was debuted in China at the Shanghai Auto Show last month and a little bit more than disappointed there are no plans to produce such a vehicle for the U.S. market. While the fate of Zeta-based sedans in GM's North American lineup seem to change by the day, Buick has until this point been left out, forced to saddle on with the LaCrosse and Lucerne as its mainstay sedans.

Ming, a staff member at GMInsideNews, wanted to know what GM's Bob Lutz thought of how well the Chinese-bound Buick Park Avenue was received in Shanghai and the tepid reception of the Buick "Super" twins at the New York Auto Show. Ming sent his question to John McElroy, the host of Autoline Detroit, a great show that's shown on cable access for free in the Detroit area and distributed on the SPEED Channel nationwide. The next episode of Autoline Detroit features Lutz as the main attraction, and Ming received a confirmation from McElroy that Lutz was asked the question and takes it on.

You won't hear Lutz's answer on the broadcast, however. The producer's saved it for the "Extra" section on their website that shows, uh, extra stuff not in the broadcast version of the show. It will be available for viewing after the show airs on Sunday, 5/6/2007. We'll post a link to it then, as I'm sure we're all eager to hear what big Bob has to say.

[Source: GMInsideNews]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM really employed badge-engineering to a great extent during the 60's. The thing with that, however, was that at the time GM was producing great cars, with each version of the platform having a different flavor. For example, Chevy was still the cheapest, Pontiac was raw performance, while Oldsmobile and Buick had different levels of aspirational luxury. A perfect example would be the Chevelle/Olds 442/Buick Gran Sport. I don't see why they could repeat this with the Zeta platform, i.e. have a pretty basic Chevy Impala, a sporty Pontiac G8, and this Buick as the cushiest, but still capable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is galling to see GM prove the ability to produce world class cars in a foriegn market and elect not to do so in the domestic market, while simultaneously claiming it has a recovery plan. GM's putting Zeta on hold at the same time it comes out that Hyundai has a full luxury rwd vehicle in the works that should be out within the next year or so, one that's been in development since before 2005. That's a platform that will be a direct competitor to Buick.

      While I think that it's true that most don't care whether its fwd or rwd -- per se -- I do think that GM's seemingly perpetual day late dollar short approach to products in the domestic product is the primary reason that they've lost market share for years. There may be excuses for that, such as labor costs and legacy costs. But management exists to sell cars, not a concept which GM management seems to have understood since the '60s.

      In the end, if GM can't make a better Buick, Hyundai will. And then GM won't be making Buicks at all,
      far jr
      • 7 Years Ago
      Although most bloggers here may like powerful, tight handling, RWD cars, many car buyers do not care. If you want that type of car from GM, go buy the future Impala or G8. Buick should stick to what sells with the Buick faithful. If that doesn't work out, then Buick will fold and you will still be able to buy the RWD Impala or G8.
      The big question is: "If Buick doesn't take the Zeta based cars, what platform will they use for the Lucerne replacement?"
      • 7 Years Ago
      What is wrong with people? I'm tired of the badge-engineering slam directed solely against GM. How about the Camry/Avalon/ES350/Solara badge-engineering? How about the Passat/A4? How about Accord/TL? Am I wrong here is this not a common practice carried out by many car makers?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really like the look of that Chinese Park Ave., and I really like the new Buick SUV. I guess that means they're doing something wrong, I'm 26, or less than half the age you're required to be to buy a Buick.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Buick Park Avenue is just a modified Holden Statesman, its not a brand new car base. The statesman/Caprice are just an upmarket version of the Commodore, which some variants thereof will be selling, albeit slightly modified (different badging, bonnet) in the US at the Pontiac G8!

      If people like the Park Avenue, there's no reasons why it can't be exported (slightly different front panelling clues) from Australia alongside the G8!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's one big problem with the mentality that the Lucerne is "good enough" and that Buick buyers "don't care". It's that traditional Buick buyers are dying off and with them Buick's profits and marketshare. That's why Buick needs fresh, contemporary and widely appealing products to remain viable in the United States.

      The Enclave offers a glimmer of hope for just how good the brand could be with great products. So does the Park Avenue.

      The real reason it will probably never come here (at least as the same car the Chinese get) is that it's an expensive car. Is the United States really ready for a low volume, high luxury, world class, DTS-priced Buick? That's a good question.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Bob, I really don't care if its derivative or not, I like it better than all the cars Buick is currently selling.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Autoline Detroit is the best auto show on TV for business facts and interviews. Anyone with any sort of interest in the the auto industry should watch it.
      • 7 Years Ago

      --#14 -- I did not mean you should not PERSONALLY like the car. I referred to liking it, and thinking it was relevant to the US market, which it is NOT!
      if you want reasons--
      1-- whole rear of car is generic -- No one want a Buick with Impala etc styling
      2-- the present Buick customoer would not care much about the better handling and so on -- so the car just plain overlaps the other models.
      3-- a car this size should replace the LaCrosse, with fresh styling -- probably front drive to save money. A new, bigger, car should be the Park Avenue.
      4-- small production capacity of that factory

      CARS ARE MERCHANDISE -- they have to be made for good market reasons, not for you and I to admire and not buy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it's absolutely beautiful. I don't know what it is, but it seems like the companies that two companies that need the most help (GM and Ford)give us cars that we either LIKE or simply TOLERATE, but then they send cars that we would LOVE overseas.

      The biggest complaint i've seen for this car is that it's another example of badge engineering. Well, if GM didn't give us a whole bunch of bland/ugly cars on this platform maybe this car would be more significant. I live in the Detroit suburbs and I can tell you this, Detroit is only getting worse; and to be honest, I can see why
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is the kind of interior we should be seeing in Cadillacs. If Cadillac is going to be the American BMW, than I hope Buick can be the American Cadillac (or Lexus, for that matter). Americans need good luxury vehicles - and Cadillac doesn't make them anymore. If I want a vehicle that can corner like a BMW, I can choose just about any Caddy. If I want a soft-riding luxury car - well, I'm not buying the Lucerne - but I'd certainly consider the Chinese Park Avenue...
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