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Buick Revives Park Ave – in China


 

 

This may very well be the new look of Buick – a look heavily influenced by General Motors’ fast-growing operations inChina.

The newest member of the Shanghai-GM lineup, the Buick Park Avenue introduces a nameplate long familiar to U.S. motorists to the Chinese market. “Designed especially for business leaders and other elites,” explains Shanghai GM President Ding Lei, “it is a component of our effort to maintain our leadership position in China by addressing the needs of all of our customers.”

 

That translates into a sedan that pushes Buick higher into the luxury spectrum and adds an array of features for rear-seat passengers, since many upper-echelon Chinese business and government officials rely on chauffeurs. Among other niceties: all of the sedan’s leather seats incorporate a massage function. There’s also a high-line infotainment system, including navigation, Bluetooth handsfree phoning, and a DVD system with multiple LCD screens.

 

The new version of the Park Avenue shares GM’s new, global rear-drive architecture. And it’s offered with several powertrain options, including a 250-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6.

 

Styling efforts for the new Park was led by GM’s fast-growing PATEC design and engineering studios, which are located near the S-GM factory, in Shanghai . That’s a significant achievement for the new unit, which turned out its first show car barely four years ago.

 

Expect to see this updated Buick look migrate to a new GM production sedan in the very near future, company sources tell TheCarConnection.com. That should come as no surprise, considering China ’s increasing influence, especially with the Buick brand. Last year, in fact, GM sold more Buick-badged products in China than it did in the U.S. , and the automaker only expects the gap to widen, barring a sudden turnaround in the American market, or an equally unexpected downturn in the emerging Asian market.

 

“Ironically,” a GM source told TheCarConnection.com, “Chinese consumers see Buick the way we only wish American buyers would, as a truly competitive luxury brand.”

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