When GM sold 9.03 million vehicles globally to become the world’s largest automaker of 2011, a great deal of the American automaker’s success came down to its dominant popularity in the Chinese market.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the best selling car in China for 2011 was the Buick Excelle. While it has been reported China sold 253,514 Excelles while only 177,633 Buick cars and SUVs were sold in the United States, confusion with Buick’s naming system revealed that the hot Buick Excelle isn’t the same as the Buick Verano sold stateside as we presumed. Oddly, the Buick line-up offers a total of three unique Excelles. Of the three, it’s the oldest generation model based on a dated Daewoo design that earned the most amount of sales. Powered by an engine designed by Holden, this particular Excelle is also known as the Kai Yue and was last given a face lift in 2008.
The second and third Chinese market Excelles are known as the Ying Lang. Using Opel Astra architecture, the hatchback Ying Lang XT and the Verano sedan variant, Ying Lang GT, only sold a combined 8,381 units during December 2011 when the older Kai Yue model sold 13,846 units in the same month.
Much of its popularity is due to its competitive pricing. At just 100,000 renminbi, or $15k USD, the Kai Yue Excelle is the gateway vehicle into China’s coveted Buick Owner’s Club.
GALLERY: Buick Excelle
[Source: China Car Times]