Friday, August 1, 2008

Lust to love

China loves Buick.

Or, to put it another way: 中國愛Buick

In fact, the communist nation may be the only country that truly appreciates the car that used to be built in Flint.

"Buick is one of the most well-known automobile brands in China, with more than 1.7 million Buick owners," according to a recent G.M. press release. "Last year, Buick sold more than 300,000 units there and more than 567,000 worldwide, a 17,000-unit increase over 2006. Buick has a strong history in China, where Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese revolutionary hero, and Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, both owned Buicks."

Wait a minute. Sun Yat-sen — the man who said "An individual should not have too much freedom" — drove a Buick? Who knew?

Pu Yi's Buick, still running strong at a parade in Changchun of Jilin Province, China, in 2007.

Of course, G.M. isn't exactly picky when it comes to lovers these days. The automaker is as desperate as a balding, recently divorced, middle-aged guy hanging out at the White Horse Tavern with an unemployment check burning a hole in his pocket.

Buick has already re-introduced the Park Avenue in China only, and recently completed a deal with China to sell the Enclave, a so-called "luxury crossover." The Buick China website even features a fantasy sketch of a Chinese skyscraper built in the shape of the Buick logo.

For Buick, this sounds more like lust than love.

1 comment:

  1. GORDON,

    This is an excellent web page. It really brings back memories of back in the day. I live in Florida now...You know sunny skies beaches. Flint is very sad compared to when we were young. Even my kids are in culture shock but they like it because family is still there. Hearing some of the classmates names is just really a good feeling. To the class of 84 we really need a class reunion it's been to long.

    stephanie savoie


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at