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Buick may get its first hybrid... in China

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By now, many people are of the opinion that the best Buicks in the world are sold in China. The new Zeta-based, rear-wheel drive Park Avenue just introduced for the Chinese market would do wonders for the brand in North America, while the front-wheel drive LaCrosse sold there wears a much classier design than our own. According to the folks at Winding Road, who spent some time with the GM China crew at the Shanghai Auto Show, a hybrid version of the LaCrosse is also on its way to Chinese customers. The hybrid LaCrosse will likely use the Belt-Alternator Starter system used by GM's mild hybrids in the U.S. While not as frugal with the fuel as a full-on hybrid, the BAS system is less complex and less expensive. We don't expect the LaCrosse sold in North America, or any Buick sold in North America for that matter, to feature a hybrid drivetrain anytime soon.

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It's a start... build demand and then you can justify the expense. I think Buick would do very well selling "premium" hybrid vehicles. The Super trim isn't geared towards race-track performance, and would become truly Super if the performance boost came from a hybrid system while providing better fuel economy (think Saturn's "Red-Line" and "Green-Line" combined into one trim-level on Buick.)

Lexus is doing it... why couldn't Buick do something similar with a thoroughly modern line-up?

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