Buick Excelle and Invicta at Beijing

Published: 21 April 2008

Why would such a quintessentially American brand like Buick unveil its cars in China first? Simple economics: China overtook the USA as Buick’s number one market over a year ago, allegedly on the back of the reputation of the old emperor of China having a preference for the brand. Buick (and parent brand GM) couldn’t be happier as the Buick Excelle has become a top ten seller over here.
 
Buick’s double launch

Given this Chinese love it makes perfect sense for GM to launch not one but two cars at the 2008 Beijing motor show. The new Excelle is relatively mundane in global car terms – a very average-looking five-seat, four-door (slightly upmarket) saloon but the bigger design news is the Buick Invicta concept (pictured) – a striking large saloon akin to the current La Crosse.

Production looks close

Look beyond the lack of door handles and the exterior of the Invicta seems quite production feasible, despite its striking pronounced ‘dip and kick up’ side crease in the middle of the rear door. Inside, it’s a similar story with light wood, brushed aluminium, Alcantara and perforated leather combined with production switchgear.

The only GM design man available kept on saying there were “no plans” to put the Invicta into production but said it like someone remembering their lines rather than truly believing them. Add some door handles and tone down the interior and this could be a 2010 La Crosse preview.

By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator

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