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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dec 8: From China with love

Sure, it's a cliche. Saying anything is from anywhere with love, goes back to the old James Bond movie, From Russia with Love (not too much comes from there with love these days). Still as a phrase, it works very well and also as the title and topic of today's blog.

Check out this old Buick ad from 1962........

No way anyone at that time, could have foreseen how this ad was foretelling the future of the brand. My guess is that this Buick was supposed to be in San Francisco and the type of restaurant was easy to figure out (Chinese, if you haven't yet had your wake up coffee). Nowadays, if Buick was to run a similar ad, it would be in front of this same type of restaurant, but instead of being on this side of the Pacific it would actually be for a Chinese audience and would, of course, be in China.

Going way back, the Buick brand has meant something special in China, as you can see in this old ad from 1940........

That something special was and is prestige. So important is this brand in China, that when General Motors restructured in '08, the Buick brand was retained, even though its North American sales were not particularly stellar. Where it sold very well was China. The marketers realized that discontinuing the brand over here, but keeping it in China, would probably be perceived as an affront. So the better selling brand, at least in North America, Pontiac, was dropped and the Buick line was beefed up in both markets.

Which brings us to today's topic.

The Enclave and Encore sport utilities have sold very well in both of these important markets, but as suv sales have rocketed, the gap between the two models was ripe for filling. So, one guess, where that gap was filled first. If you said Canada, well, you haven't been paying attention. And if you said the US, not bad, but still not correct. Of course, you know where this is headed. That draped model above, was named the Envision and it was introduced in China last year.

An attractive crossover (there is that word again) and the just the right size for them and for us, but it wasn't being sold in North America (yet). Note the licence plates from these promo pics from its Chinese introduction........


So the big news, is not that it was intro'd and sold over there first, it's that it will now be coming to our shores, but will be imported from China. A North American Buick being built in China and sent over to us. Will wonders ever cease? It sure goes to show us, how the world has changed. If Volvo can make cars in China and sell them worldwide, then why not Buick? No big deal, since the strong selling Encore is made in South Korea.

When I saw a Chinese car at the Detroit Auto Show about six or seven years ago, it was, to be kind, a mess of mismatched parts. Way behind the quality that, would ever gain a toe hold in our market. Couldn't understand why they would have done that and still don't, but I knew it was only time, before their cars would stand up to scrutiny anywhere in the world. And of course, that is now the case. Never read a bad comment about the Volvo quality and I don't expect to read anything negative about the Envision.

This car/truck/crossover, whatever, will arrive here beautifully finished, as you can see in this interior shot, and try to be the Lexus competitor that Buick so wants to be.

Times change and even behemoths like GM have to change with them. As for you and me, we have to erase those preconceived notions from our mind and embrace the changes (or not).

So as the sun rises in the east, so shall the Envision, as it arrives from China with love.

Until next time........

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