• Jul 29th 2008 at 9:32AM
  • 13
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 Buick Enclave.

In addition to getting the coolest Buicks which are not available in America, individuals in China are about to get the best vehicle that Buick has to offer in the States. In a deal which was initially inked ten months ago, the attractive Enclave CUV, built at GM's Lansing Delta Township assembly plant, is headed for China. The U.S. assembled 'utes will make their way by means of Shanghai GM. The exportation of the Enclave to China is only surprising in that it took so long for the General to get the model there in the first place. After all, Buick sells more vehicles in China than anywhere else in the world, with the nation consuming over half of all Buicks worldwide. We can only hope that Shanghai GM returns the favor and sends some of its best designs our way... and soon.

[Source: GM]

Press Release:

GM Prepares to Export Buick Enclaves to China

Chinese Officials Visit Award-winning Lansing Delta Township Plant

LANSING, Mich. - Discerning vehicle buyers in China are another step closer to experiencing what their U.S. counterparts have been raving about for the past year: the hot-selling Buick Enclave luxury crossover. Chinese officials visited the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Thursday and Friday to observe operations in preparation for the manufacture of U.S.-built Enclaves crossovers for export to China. Pending approval, China-bound Enclaves could begin rolling off the assembly line as early as next month.

Buick announced last year it would expand its international reach following a four-year, $800 million (USD) agreement signed by General Motors and Shanghai GM (SGM) to export Enclaves to China beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008. Enclave will be imported by Shanghai GM and sold through a network of more than 400 Buick dealerships across China. The plant visit by Chinese Quality Certification Center and SGM officials is another step in this agreement.

Buick is one of the most well-known automobile brands in China, with more than 1.7 million Buick owners. Last year, Buick sold more than 300,000 units there and more than 567,000 worldwide, a 17,000-unit increase over 2006. Buick has a strong history in China, where Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese revolutionary hero, and Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, both owned Buicks.

"Our customers in China are going to fall in love with the Enclave's beauty, luxury and functionality in the same way that this vehicle has captivated buyers here," said Susan Docherty, vice president, Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "Buick has been a revered brand in China for more than 90 years, and Enclave is going to enhance our strong presence in the Chinese marketplace, providing an elegant and premium vehicle built in a world-class facility."

Enclave is Buick's first luxury crossover. Known for its elegant design, well-crafted and library-quiet interior, Enclave has segment-leading fuel economy and space to transport up to eight passengers plus their gear. It is one of GM's hottest-selling vehicles in North America, having sold more than 55,800 since launching in 2007. GM recently announced it was adding 7,000 units of additional Enclave production for the United States for the remainder of this year.

The Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant, which opened in 2006, uses state-of-the-art manufacturing practices. Both the assembly plant and the contiguous stamping plant are certified to ISO 14001, an international voluntary set of environmental standards. In addition, it is the only manufacturing facility in the world that has achieved Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Rating System.

General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's no reason GM can't close Buick here and continue selling the brand in China where it is successful (that is until that market cools off which it shows signs of doing).

      I'm also not convinced anyone would honestly buy the same Buicks here as the Chinese buy whether they are good or not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, a lot of people in the press seem fascinated to repeat that Buick sells twice as many vehicles in China as they do in the US. Few of them point out that 60% of Buick's Chinese sales are the Excelle, which is not available in the US. And while Buick could use some smaller and more efficient models, I am unpersuaded that a Buick-themed version of the Daewoo last seen here as the Suzuki Forenza is what Americans are crying out for. And if Buick wants to ship all the US production of the hideous Enclave to China, let them--between the bloated fenders and the huge vertically-slatted grille, it looks like a Baleen whale that's been beached in the sun for a few weeks and is just about ready to pop.
        • 7 Years Ago
        oh sure, no reason at all.... except for the maybe $1 BILLION it would take to shut down the brand in NA. But GM has plenty of cash to do that, right?

        Buick isn't going anywhere. GM can't afford it right now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I dont think there is a such thing as "coolest Buicks"
        • 7 Years Ago
        A luxury G8 with a Buick grille is cool!
        BTW, shipping Enclave is a good way to fill up the empty containers that delivered all the Walmart crap.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure these will be built in China within a year. the strong demand for them there could easily outstrip the entire production capacity of the Delta township facility. the factory has had a problem supplying even the US market, as demand here has been very strong.

      someone who has a problem with "coolest Buicks" must be twenty years old or less. any Grand National, GS, or GSX, T-Type, Reatta, or LeSabre Sport Coupe owner would beg to differ. hell, we can throw in quite a few LeSabre, Century, and Park Avenue owners, too. do you suppose owners of the new V-8 powered Buick Super are wearing Depend undergarments? I think not.

      perhaps someone can start a thread about "coolest Toyopets", or "coolest Daihatsus".

      • 7 Years Ago
      How long till the Chinese rip off this one?
      • 4 Years Ago
      what is the price of a Buick Inclave in China
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am really stoked that Buick does so well in China. Heck, GM sells more Buicks there than in the entire rest of the world!

      Perhaps in order to revive Pontiac a similar tactic might be implemented. Asians (especially from Japan) have a profound preference for Pontiacs: Trans Am, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Bonneville and even GTO. I believe the old nameplates are part of the allure. Too bad it is such a pain to break into the Japanese market. However, I think Pontiac might do just as well in Korea and South East Asia. Or has Holden already got that region oversupplied?

      The Enclave is a beautiful machine. I would have preferred that GM used the old Roadmaster moniker for it though. That would have cinched a more rugged cachet.

      Furthermore, I believe that Buick sales, as a whole, would improve dramatically if Buicks were a little more upscale with superchargers and included touring suspension plus AWD on all models. Now that is ba_ad to the bone.

      Similarily Pontiac sales would show improvement if they were turbocharged and included sport tuned suspensions.

      That way Pontiac and Buick would be radically different from Chevrolet in performance and handling. Each brand would have its own unique raison d'etre.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry - while there is fondness for some of GM's great muscle cars from the past, I doubt there is much fond memories of Bonnevilles, Grand Ams, etc. circa 1980's and '90s.

        GM simply doesn't build autos geared for the Japanese or Korean markets and its poor reputation has hurt it in those countries.

        The biggest import seller in Korea is Honda - followed by various German brands (there's a reason for that).

        If any model has a chance for success in those markets, it would be the CTS.

      • 7 Years Ago
      the buick CUV is not only the best vehicle that buick makes, it is the best CUV for sale today. the lexus and infin offerings are no where near as good.

      besides the 335i, the buick is the most impressive vehicle you could see on any given day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      China is the number 1 reason as to why GM won't lay Buick to rest next to Oldsmobile.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Yes, but maybe they might make it a China only brand and phase it out in North America.
    • Load More Comments