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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]
It’s been a close on a year since we last hear about the upcoming Buick compact crossover, but now new info has surfaced, as well as a confirmation by Buick of the Chevy Cruze-based compact luxury sport sedan. According to a report by Car & Driver, the baby Enclave will not be based on the same platform as the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.
Instead, it is likely to share the same underpinnings as the Chevy Cruze, which Buick has also confirmed will be used to build an entry-level sport sedan, slotting in underneath the new Regal. This new Buick sedan will get unique styling, a different powertrain and an all-new name. While C&D wasn’t able to squeeze any more info out of the Buick execs, we’ve heard reports that the new sedan will either be called the Excelle (which it will be called in China) or rebadged as the Verano for North America. Originally it was though the base engine would be the same one found in the Cruze (a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor with 138-hp), but with this report of a new powertrain, we’re more likely to see a larger 1.6-liter turbocharged motor (currently used in the Opel Astra Hatch) making 180-hp. Recent spy photos of an Excelle GT also raised speculation that the car might be offered in high-end GS trim when it arrive in the U.S. with the Regal’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 220-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
Currently Buick’s models only compete with 14 percent of the new-car market in the U.S., but Buick aims to increase that to 46 percent wit the introduce of this new compact sedan and crossover. I addition, Buick has more models in the works, slated for 2014 and 2015, which will increase the market penetration to 60 percent. We just hope it includes a rumored rear-drive coupe.
[Source: Car & Driver]