Buick Carves Dominance in China; Brand’s SUVs Among Most Popular Cars

Feb 24, 2017 05:20 AM EST | Yen Palec

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In the west, Buick is mostly associated with the era of yore and a classic brand that has no significant grip of the modern market and does not appeal to millennials. However, the same cannot be said in China, a market where Buick is seen as a cool and is in fact one of the most popular car brands in the country.

In a statement acquired by CNN, Buick China general director Jean Liu-Barnocki said, "The average Buick customer's age in China is about 35. So it's definitely not your grandfather's or your father's Buick."

In China, Buick outsells car brands that are significantly popular in the western hemisphere. Brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Honda and BMW all look in awe as Buick soars its way on the top segment of the market.

In terms of sales performance, Buick sold 202,000 cars in the United States last year. In China, Buick posted a record-setting year by selling more than 1.1 million vehicles. China is such an important market for Buick that about 80 percent of the company's worldwide sales came from China. SUV is also the brands most selling car.

Many motoring analysts have reasoned that Buick's popularity in China has its cultural roots. The brand has been linked to the country's last emperor and other historical leaders. In fact, the two Buick cars owned by China's Emperor Pu Yi were reported to be the first cars ever to enter the Forbidden City located in Beijing. Widely considered as the founding father of modern China, Sun Yat Sen had a Buick car.

Aside from historical roots, motoring analysts agree that Buick's popularity in China can be attributed to its products as well. In China, the most popular type of vehicle is the SUV. Among the most popular cars in China are the Envision and Excelle, both are made by Buick. The two cars account for about 30,000 units sold per month. According to Automotive News, the success of the Envision in China has prompted Buick to release it in the U.S. market this year.

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