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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Buicks will share styling in N.A., China

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Buicks will share styling in N.A., China

Rick Kranz | Automotive News / March 26, 2007 - 1:00 am

DETROIT -- The redesigned LaCrosse sedan will be the first American Buick vehicle co-developed with engineers and stylists in China.

The car is expected to debut in 2009, developed on General Motors' re-engineered Epsilon 2 front-drive architecture.

"There is joint development going on," said David Smidebush, Buick and Pontiac product director. "It is not that dissimilar to what Saturn and Opel are doing on global platforms."

Saturn and Opel share styling and platforms on several models. Future shared vehicles are being co-engineered for the United States and Europe.

China is Buick's biggest market. Last year, the automaker sold 304,230 vehicles there, compared with 240,657 in the United States.

"GM and Chinese nationals are working together through the development, through the design," to determine what is best for each market, said Smidebush, interviewed here at a Buick event.

Buick sells six vehicles in China, including versions of the U.S. Terraza minivan, marketed as the GL8 in China; and the Regal sedan, based on the discontinued U.S. model.

GM is planning to drop the Terraza in the United States.

Buick's third model in China, the LaCrosse, shares a fwd platform with the North American LaCrosse. But the Chinese LaCrosse, which debuted early last year, has styling different from the U.S. version.

The three other Buick models are the Royaum, a rear-drive sedan produced by GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia; and two rebadged fwd Daewoo models, the Excelle and HRV.

Buick General Manager Steve Shannon said future vehicles "will be developed from scratch for both markets, where today we have a little bit of a mixed bag."

Smidebush said GM is adding design and engineering capability in China that will benefit Buick in North America. But small Buick models created for China will not be sold in North America.

Engines and interiors will distinguish models for North America and China.

Four-cylinder engines likely will be offered in models for China, whereas the North American versions will have V-6s, Smidebush said.

Many Buicks in China are driven by chauffeurs, so a range of rear-seat controls will be added for that country but not offered on North American models.

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Translation:

Look for Buick to have the same set up Saturn does.

You will not see smaller models like Excelle here. So stop thinking they are coming and posting them on car sites.

You will get cars like Park Avenue in the United States, but you will not get the rear seats with the tables and controls in the arm rest, but you will get everything else.

The cars will share platforms and more, but look for visual differences on the interiors.

Nothing smaller than a V6 in the United States.

Look for Lucerne and LaCrosse in their present form to be replaced by something that is not like what it is now.

Griffon was on the money folks.

That means both markets will have:

An Enclave

A Lucerne replacement

A LaCrosse replacement

I do not know what will happen to Chinese Regal and GL8. I think it will be replaced by Enclave.

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Buicks will share styling in N.A., China

Buick General Manager Steve Shannon said future vehicles "will be developed from scratch for both markets, where today we have a little bit of a mixed bag."

Smidebush said GM is adding design and engineering capability in China that will benefit Buick in North America. But small Buick models created for China will not be sold in North America.

Engines and interiors will distinguish models for North America and China.

Four-cylinder engines likely will be offered in models for China, whereas the North American versions will have V-6s, Smidebush said.

Many Buicks in China are driven by chauffeurs, so a range of rear-seat controls will be added for that country but not offered on North American models.

This should have been done from the begining, better late than never.

Quality name "Smidebush"! :smilewide:

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So as long they share the style cues, rather than pukearama here, I do not have problems with bringing them from China.
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So as long they share the style cues, rather than pukearama here, I do not have problems with bringing them from China.

They're not being brought over from China... they are being developed together and produced locally.
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