It took General Motors eight years to sell one million Buicks in China, but the second million came in only three. Brisk auto sales in the land of the Great Wall are part of the reason for the increase, but the General has also stepped up its product lineup with new offerings, including the Regal, LaCrosse, and Park Avenue. Shanghai GM's two-millionth Buick was a red Regal, delivered to a customer in the southern city of Guangzhou.
While those vehicles have brought some high-end class to GM Shanghai's Buick operation, they haven't come close to the success of the smaller Excelle. Shanghai GM has sold 900,000 copies of the Excelle sedan, hatch, and wagon since 2003, and sales are still going strong with 94,000 units moved in the first five months of 2009.
While Buick has struggled as a brand here in the States, the marquee has enjoyed blockbuster success in China. Buick was a smash success in China in the 1930s, as provincial presidents and emperors chose the brand over more austere offerings from the likes of Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz, and it appears some of that goodwill has been projected into modern times.
Shanghai GM Sells 2 Millionth Buick in China
Shanghai – The 2 millionth Buick sold in China by Shanghai GM, a red New Regal sedan, was delivered today to its owner in the southern city of Guangzhou.
"It took eight years for Shanghai GM to sell its first 1 million Buicks, but only three years to sell its second 1 million units," said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. "This demonstrates the ongoing popularity of Shanghai GM's leading mainstream brand in what is now Buick's largest market."
Shanghai GM, GM's flagship joint venture in China with SAIC, began manufacturing and selling Buick products in 1998. Shanghai GM has built a portfolio of more than 40 Buick models and variants, making it one of the most comprehensive brands sold in China today. It also has been recognized for its pioneering Buick Care aftersales service.
Leading the way for Buick are the Excelle and GL8 families. Since the Excelle's introduction in 2003, more than 900,000 Excelle sedans, Excelle HRV hatchbacks and Excelle Station Wagons have been sold, including more than 94,000 in the first five months of 2009. Shanghai GM also has sold more than 240,000 GL8 and GL8 FirstLand executive wagons since the product's introduction in 1999, making the GL8 the undisputed leader in the segment.
Buick is entering a new era of development with a series of new products and powertrains that offer an enhanced driving experience. Its next-generation models like the New Regal are based on global platforms and feature the latest technology while retaining Buick's traditional characteristics such as a quiet ride, a high level of safety and elegant styling.
According to Wale, "Buick's newer models are proving popular due to their outstanding quality, design and value. They represent the attitude, achievement, capability and entrepreneurial spirit of their owners."
From the New Regal's introduction last December through the end of May 2009, more than 34,000 units have been sold, giving it leadership in the upper-medium sedan segment with a price range of RMB 180,000 to RMB 250,000 (US$26,000 to US$37,000). In addition, Shanghai GM has sold nearly 2,800 imported Buick Enclave SUVs, with demand continuing to outpace supply.
With the upcoming introduction of the Buick New Regal 2.0 Turbo and new Buick LaCrosse featuring a 3.0-liter V-6 SIDI engine, demand for Buick vehicles across China is expected to continue to grow.
The Buick brand has a long and distinguished history in China that dates back to the early days of General Motors itself. In the first part of the 20th century, Buick was the car of choice for many of the country's influential citizens. Such individuals as Dr. Sun Yat-sen, China's first provisional president; Zhou Enlai, who became China's premier; and Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, owned, drove or were driven in Buick automobiles.