By on January 25, 2012

The Buick Excelle is China’s top selling car in 2011, moving 254,000 units? Buick sold roughly 178,000 vehicles in the USA by contrast.

Coming in second was the VW Lavida, while the Chevrolet Cruze was third. GM and VW comprised 7 of the top 10 spots.

The Wuling Sunshine, a commercial van, technically outsold the Excelle, with 731,000 units sold, but doesn’t count as a passenger car in the same way that a Ford F-Series is classified separately.

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48 Comments on “Buick Excelle Is China’s Best Selling Car...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Excelle = Verano? I have that right?

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      There are a few different types of Excelle; the one that made up the bulk of sales was probably this one:

      http://0.tqn.com/d/cars/1/0/L/l/buick_excelle.jpg

      …known on this side of the ocean as the illustrious Suzuki Forenza, or in UK Chevy Lacetti form as Top Gear’s Reasonably Priced Car.

      • 0 avatar
        alluster

        “There are a few different types of Excelle; the one that made up the bulk of sales was probably this one:”

        That is a pre 2010 model based on a Daewoo. Since 2010, the only Excelle’s sold are based on the Astra.

        GT: http://www.buick.com.cn/excelleGT/download/w3_1024.jpg

        XT: http://www.topspeed.com/cars/buick/2010-buick-excelle-xt-ar82047/picture334819.html

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I haven’t seen one in the past year, but for a period of time Suzuki Forenzas were popping up as trade ins on our used car lot every couple months. I took a few customers on test drives in them, and I was fairly impressed for what they were. I don’t have any long term experience, but the ones we had seemed solidly built, and they were dirt cheap to boot.

        For the same price as Dodge Calibers and PT Cruisers were going for ($9,000 or so late model low miles) they seemed solidly built with intelligently laid out interiors and a bit of fun in the handling.

      • 0 avatar
        gcorley

        The following link shows that both SV & alluster are partially right:

        http://www.chinacartimes.com/2012/01/26/excelle-selling-car-china/

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      Excelle is both the XT (hatch) and GT saloon (pictured). XT is just a rebadged Astra, while the GT(Verano in US) is a sedan based on the Astra platform.

      Though Opel is losing money, platforms and cars developed by them are selling quite well outside europe. The Captiva based on the Antara is huge in South East Asia. Hopefully GM doesn’t sell opel.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      In a word, yes. But in China Buick currently has three models listed on their website (helpfully translated by Chrome):

      1. The Excelle GT, based on the Chevy Cruze and virtually identical to the U.S.-spec Buick Verano (http://buick.com.cn/excelleGT/);

      2. The Excelle XT, based on the 5-door Cruze/Opel Astra (http://buick.com.cn/excellext/);

      3. And the plain ol’ Excelle, the budget proposition based on the Suzuki Forenza/Chevy Lacetti/etc. (http://buick.com.cn/excelle/).

  • avatar

    Bertel, do you think the Buick brand in China would have been damaged if GM had killed the brand in the US?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If they had killed it someone in China would have wrote a fat check for the brand; unless GM reserved the brand like they did with Pontiac (don’t know if “reserve” is the right industry term or not)

      • 0 avatar
        asapuntz

        It doesn’t seem to bother buyers in England, Australia, or continental Europe that GM’s Vauxhall, Holden and Opel brands don’t exist in North American dealerships.

        Is there any indication that it would matter to Chinese consumers if the Buick brand didn’t either?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        It’s not that it wouldn’t have mattered – it is the $$$ GM would have left on the table, and it would make a China strategy that much harder.

        Chevrolet, built by the guys that use to own Buick, honest! Or…

        Oldsmobile, almost as good as Buick, and just as stodgy to US buyers. Or…

        Pontiac, use to be driving excitement in the 60′s by the same guys who use to build Buicks…

        I think Chinese buyers would snap up Buicks owned by US or China — but the impact on GM’s balance sheet would be dramatic, and the Chinese auto market would look very different.

      • 0 avatar
        roverv8i

        In response to other comments:

        Vauxhall is British – acquired by GM in 1925
        Holden is Australian – acquired by GM in 1931
        Opel is German – acquired be GM starting in 1929

        These companies/brands were acquired by GM and have always been consided to belong to their respective home markets even though the parent is a US company.

        Buick is clearly an American brand. I believe Durant was at Buick when he begain forming GM thus it can be considered an original part of GM.

        So, the question is if the sales success in China still plays off this or would it not be effected if Buicks were not sold in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Buick has had a luxury cache in China going back to the last Emperor, who owned one. Buick sent a team of engineers to train mechanics to maintain it. The revolution didn’t change that, since the first President Sun Yat-Sen also owned one. Walter Chrysler duplicated Buick’s engineer training program after the 1911 revolution, since the new elected government officials were also buying Buicks. That reputation probably would have survived dropping Buick in the U.S.

  • avatar

    Some slogans don’t translate well.

  • avatar

    Thank President Obama for rescuing GM.
    Then thank GM for finally making good cars.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      I prefer to thank the American taxpayer:

      “Dear taxpayer, thank you for using your money to help GM. I especially enjoy the 0% 72-month financing and the $1,000 rebate I got on my 2011 Buick Regal. It was very well made in Germany, and the stereo plays Kraftwerk nicely.”

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        To be completely accurate, depending on when you bought your Regal depends on where it was made. Since February of 2011, they were made in Canada. Still not the US, I know, but Canada helped with the bailout too.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Sigh.

      It was President Bush that started the auto bailouts.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/20/business/20auto.html

      WASHINGTON — The emergency bailout of General Motors and Chrysler announced by President Bush on Friday gives the companies a few months to get their businesses in order, but hands off to President-elect Barack Obama the difficult political task of ruling on their future.

      The plan pumps $13.4 billion by mid-January into the companies from the fund that Congress authorized to rescue the financial industry. But the two companies have until March 31 to produce a plan for long-term profitability, including concessions from unions, creditors, suppliers and dealers…

      I know, details, details, details…

      • 0 avatar

        I Republicans want to pin THE CHEVY VOLT FIRES on Obama then they should pin GM’s success on him too. NO CONSERVATIVE talk show or tv show has even mentioned Bush’s name in the same sentence as “auto bailout”

        And yes, I know all about the bailout timeline.

        They were really called “bridge loans”.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      Ooooo-kayyyyy. How to deal with a partisan zealot ignorant of the facts.

      1. FACT: Once President Bush committed ‘Bridge Loans” to GM and Chrysler, there is NO WAY Obama could have NOT continued the program. So, looking at it that way, Bush initiated the auto bailout. If it had not been started by Bush, it is an open question as to whether the companies would have survived into the Obama administration. Nonetheless, the Obama administration skewed the program toward preserving the unions at the expense of the bondholders, who got ROYALLY screwed. So, even before he started his back-and-forth on raising taxes on the upper brackets, many people got a haircut by Obama and Geithner on this deal.

      2. FACT: Obama, by implication and including them in his SOTU address, IMPLIED that he had saved Ford as well. Ford took some accelerated re-tooling program dollars, IIRC, but NEVER took “Bailout Bucks.” For Obama to imply he had ANYTHING to do with Ford’s renaissance is disingenuous at best, and intentionally misleading at worst. About what one would expect from the Obama administration, in other words.

      3. FACT: The Obama administration ‘saved’ Chrysler by giving it, lock, stock and assembly lines, to a foriegn company, so that Chrysler is now a FOREIGN automaker who happens to manufacture a few vehicles here in the US. Much less ‘domestic’ than Toyota, or Honda. All profits go overseas.

      4. FACT: Not all of the Auto Bailout dollars have been, or ever will be, paid back by GM.

      5. FACT: It is an open question, at this juncture, whether short-cuts were taken to bring the VOLT to market before it was thoroughly safety-engineered for fire risk. It appears customer safety may have taken a back-seat to politics in launching this vehicle, which is an unwarranted and unprecedented intrusion into the marketplace. All that aside, the VOLT is a unmitigated FAILURE in the marketplace.

      6. FACT: The new GM appears to be making more competitive cars and trucks in the market. It is a positive sign that they recently regained the mantle of ‘largest manufacturer of cars in the world” in 2012. But only because Toyota lost production in the aftermath of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. Only a matter of time until GM slips back into the number two slot, or further.

      So, based on these facts, Mr. Obama does NOT deserve as much credit as he is claiming for ‘saving’ GM and the auto industry.

      But, ‘true believers’ are easily deceived by rhetoric…

      • 0 avatar
        MarkP

        Don’t mix up your facts with something that “appears” to be true.

        In fact, one the main reasons to save the automakers was to save jobs. Any product made in the US means a US worker had a job. Why should I care whether a US fatcat or an Italian fatcat gets the profits?

        Oh well, at least your last statement is true.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        You should research more and not lump everything into the “FACT” category. Bond holders didn’t get screwed. They weren’t secured, they weren’t senior. They got their day in court and lost. That is what happens when you don’t have secured debt.

        Sure, not all of the bailout has been paid back, and it probably won’t ever be. But it isn’t a FACT yet that it will not be paid back yet. I don’t know what the current stock would have to be, probably over $50, but still, not a fact yet.

        So it is a FACT that the Volt might have had short cuts taken? Are you reading what you wrote? You know, it is a fact that I might go to a restaurant to eat lunch today, but I might not. That is a fact too. But seriously, there is NO way that GM would purposely come out with a product with as much hype as the Volt and have safety take a back seat. I agree that something was missed in the design, and it has been fixed now. And, I don’t think I would call the Volt a failure. It didn’t meet its sales goals, but still outsold many mainstream cars in the marketplace.

        It is true that GM got the crown back party because of Toyota’s problems with the tsunami and flooding. But those sales could have gone elsewhere. With all of the over capacity out there, it was going to go to someone. Enough went to GM to make the difference. I also don’t think that GM will keep the crown long term, but I also think that companies shouldn’t strive for this crown. Much of Toyota’s growth has seen its cars have much worse quality interiors and parts. And Toyota’s has been leading the nation in amount of cars recalled for the past few years, including 2011 (which doesn’t include the SUA recalls).

        But, ‘true haters’ are easily deceived by their opinions, and not always facts.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        We cannot have one decent conversation about good news at GM without the usual mud-slinging. It is getting tired.
        The sad fact about forks in the road is that you never get to know where the other side of the fork went. Barely making headlines this week was the demise of Kodak. This was no surprise to anyone following the business pages for the past decade, but if you’d said to anyone in 1960 that Kodak one day would be gone, you’d have been checked into a loony bin. Just ask Rochester, New York how that one is working out for them.
        Perhaps the consumers in America should be asking why the consumers in Japan have put up with 50 years of sacrifice to enable Japan Inc to assault markets in North America.
        The time for that has long passed. Japan Inc has cleverly invested in many stakeholders on these shores to mask themselves as patriots.
        Pass the popcorn, guys – the demise of the West is a show not to be missed.

      • 0 avatar

        Mark M,

        I think it’s a bit of hyperbole to say that the Volt is an unmitigated failure in the marketplace. They were about 25% short of hoped for sales in 2011, though the sales pace picked up in the last few months of the year. I think the slow rollout was a mistake. I’ve said all along, we’ll know if the Volt is a failure sometime around May or June of 2012.

        GM has a big challenge with the Volt. The fire issue has seriously hampered being able to market the car. Fire is an explosive, dare I say, inflammatory topic because it scares people. The Tata Nano and Ferrari 458 have been tainted as fire prone based on very small numbers of fires. Even more significant fire hazards, like with the Pinto, have been layered over with urban legend and half truths. Add in some media malfeasance like with NBC and the Chevy trucks, the bottom line is that if you say “car fire” people pay attention. The fact that the Volt project is already the subject of enormous media, political and car enthusiast interest increases that attention exponentially.

        The fire issue has been badly misrepresented and overhyped. I’ve seen websites that linked to my writing on the story completely misrepresent the facts, but then so has the Associated Press. I’m disappointed that people that I generally admire, like Mark Steyn, have taken some cheap shots at the Volt because of the politics. As a car guy, I think the Volt is an amazing bit a technology and engineering and I don’t think that it helps political conservatives to use the Volt as a whipping boy to attack Obama. Frankly, the Keystone pipeline and Solyndra will do just fine in that regard, no need to beat up on the Volt.

    • 0 avatar
      wallstreet

      Thank bond holders for bending over.
      Thank investors who bought this pig at IPO.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        You mean the bond holders that had unsecured debt and were nearly last in line to get anything, exactly like the law dictates?

      • 0 avatar
        wallstreet

        Let’s see : Secured Creditors > Unsecured Creditors > Stockholders. UAW gets 17.5% of GM shares & pocketed $3.4 B from the sale of GM IPO. Have GM bond holders bend over enough?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Steven02′s is the kind of post I don’t understand. He either doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about or he is here to spread falsehoods. Somehow that works, while efforts to enlighten people with accounts of what Obama and Bush actually did and why are deleted.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So if anyone was still confused… now you know why Pontiac had to die. Now imagine if GM had pulled the trigger on Buick instead of Oldsmobile back at the turn of the century.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I can only imagine how great the Aurora could have been by now if Olds had been kept around and Buick had gotten the axe back then instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Yeah. Except for the Bonneville SSE, Poncho had no real reason to exist anymore, and the up-sized Cavalier-looking GTO, while fast, had no personality at all.

      As for Olds – well, if they had kept the Aurora, improved the Intrigue and brought back a Cutlass worthy of the name, I’d agree to keep them. Oh well…

      I’m sure glad Buick has been reinvented and appears to do well, so for that, I’m very happy for them. They need a new Riviera.

      Now…about the little issue of three tail lights on the Impala…

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Ya, that Pontiac G8 GT/GXP was a sucktastic car…

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Yeah guys, I was actually saying that Pontiac was awesome but someone had to die for GMs sins and it couldn’t be Buick because of the China thing.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        There were plans to revive Pontiac; GM ran out of time & money before it happened. The Automotive Task Force insisted that GM shrink it’s size, therefore Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer had to go.

        Buick apparently would be able to live, because of the Chinese connection. “asapuntz”‘s comment is correct, however, GM could have just as easily shuttered Buick in North America and kept it going in China using the same methods they are today. The majority of Buicks in China are not North American Buicks, mostly rebadges of Daewoos and Opels. The best Buick worldwide IS sold in China, which ought to tell us something.

        The only hope for Oldsmobile and Pontiac fans is that the brand names have not been put up for sale, unlike Hummer and Saturn. But until something solid actually takes place in that regard, I’m not going to participate in any MM-ing over it.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “Ya, that Pontiac G8 GT/GXP was a ….tastic car…”

        Okay, okay, I forgot that one! You got me! It was a great car and I did like them, I just saw very few of them on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Zackman: That re-constituted GTO wasn’t too bad, either. Not a hardtop mind you, but still… :)

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        I won’t hold my breath waiting for a Pontiac revival. Has ANY zombie brand ever been successfully resuscitated? (Bugatti doesn’t count).

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        Pontiac was in a very difficult place. It goes several cars that were supposed to help it, but that never really sold in the volumes that it needed to survive on.

        It got the GTO, the Solstice, the G8, none of which really went anywhere. Those were cars that should have helped Pontiac.

        I think Pontiac is a brand that people think about when they want performance, but the market has changed and the performance buyers aren’t really out there. What was left is a bunch of rebadged Chevys that aren’t going to sell at a premium.

        Buick on the other hand can take rebadged Chevys, make them look better, and sell them at a premium. If you really think about it, the business case for Buick was much better than the business case for Pontiac.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Saturn and Hummer had no future, but Pontiac could have as a niche brand. Drop everything but two models, a sedan and coupe/convertible. Use the brand to do bold things, Chevy/Buick want to build small cars, hybrids etc, maybe Pontiac could still deliver the traditional performance some people still want.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        If I was a zillionaire I’d buy Pontiac, Lancia, TVR, and Saab.

        Then, I’d bankroll the creation of the greatest and most authentic vehicles those brands have ever built.

        Afterward, I’d see how long before I go bankrupt.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Buick being targeted as an affordable “near luxury” car in China will be a winning strategy as middle managers continue to get substantial pay raises while lowering their expectations to own real estate in key coastal cities.

    The timing for these new models (platforms)in China was very important. If GM Buick did not get rid of the old Excelle platform it would have dragged the brand down. (I know, one of my managers in China has a previous generation Excelle and the interior is falling apart. I even brought in some 3M adhesive to fix all the door seals!)

    I really like the new Buick Excelle hatch. I have seen a few in Shanghai. They should sell very well. I think it would also be a winner here in the states!

    Picture: http://www.auto-power-girl.com/pics/photo-gallery/buick_excelle_xt_chinese_version-53693

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Not to nitpick but…GAHH! The photo is out of proportion!

    Looks like you’ve got a 1600×1067 image squeezed into a square shape. If the source image were scaled down to the desired width (450×300), the page will load faster.

    The Excelle/Verano is tall enough!

    - Your Friendly Truth About Web Design Team

  • avatar

    Note:

    Please DO NOT cut whole articles out of other websites and paste them here. I had to remove one. A repeat will trigger a ban without further warning.

  • avatar
    millmech

    Is that what it is? That thing just looks WRONG. I thought it was some strange Chinese proportion, but it’s really Yurpeen?


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