Here in the U.S., today is not exactly GM's day. Between the continuing bailout coverage and the cutting of 1600 jobs from GM's payroll, folks in the General's American PR department probably wish they'd called in sick. Assuming they still jobs, of course.
On the other side of the Pacific, it's a very different story. At the Shanghai Motor Show, GM just unveiled the Buick Business Hybrid Concept, bursting with all of the sensible, no-nonsense promise that we've come to expect from minivans.
In photos, the Business Hybrid Concept looks a little unusual. (One TCC staffer said: "It looks like the next-generation Buick Enclave was [REDACTED] by a [REDACTED] of metrosexual minivans.") But crude similes aside, we kind of like the beltline, which gives the vehicle more of an edge than your run-of-the-mill van. Also nice: the greenhouse, including the glass panels on the roof, which might keep the Business from feeling like a Super Shuttle. And who wouldn't dig that crazy instrument panel, stretching from driver to passenger?
Under the hood, the Business Hybrid Concept was apparently designed with a new hybrid system that will soon launch in China. It'll make use of new lithium-ion batteries that are said to boost fuel economy by 20% or so. Sweet.
The one curious thing? This statement from Ed Welburn, Vice President of Global Design for GM: "The Chinese market and business person have some unique requirements. Our team has responded with an elegant solution to their business and personal needs." How, exactly, do captain's chairs and the lack of a B-pillar address all that?