Buick Business Concept. Bland name, amazing vehicle. Like most of the other vehicles introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show, no official images came out immediately. Official press photography and press information have now been released though and wow, I'm impressed! Routan? Pfft. The Business Concept truly would be the ultimate minivan/MPV if produced. From here on out though, I'm going to refer to it with the MPV moniker. That's what Buick calls it, and it sounds better too. Avoids the whole "minivan" name tag stigma thing the United States is currently going through. According to Buick, the concept was designed with "global input" at the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), a joint venture between GM and it's Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). The Chinese seem to be best at designing Buicks; they just get it. The Business Concept and many other vehicles to result from Buick China prove that. The design theme executes certain themes of Buick design as well, with that big grille and chrome side strip that accentuates the Buick sweep-spear beltline. Wow! Designers have managed to produce a thoroughly modern interior but also seems to have a classic feel to it somehow. Is it just me? This will do very well in China, like the rest of the lineup but also like the current Terraza-based GL8. Some reports have speculated that the Business Concept is based on that aging minivan, but I don't think that's the case. I've heard that the car is instead based on the Chevrolet Orlando MPV concept, which GM plans to bring to the United States. So seeing this here in the United States is definitely within the realm of possibly, especially if GM does the smart (nobrainer?) thing and integrates Buick's U.S and Chinese lineups. I could see it being a success as well. Look at the Enclave. A fuel-sipping luxury carrier? Hey, even Smart cars are being sold here in the U.S now. Anything is possible! GM says it was designed to be fitted with a hybrid drivetrain too. Voltec? Who knows, GM is rumored to be working on some kind of Voltec crossover for Buick to slot in below the Enclave. Regardless of whether this is it or not, I think it's pretty certain this car will see production in China. If Buick got products like this everywhere, it really would be the Lexus competitor GM wants it to be. Thankfully that does seems to be happening though, with the Enclave and 2010 LaCrosse. The whole economic crisis probably will help bring about the globalization of Buick quicker as well. Whether or not it comes to the United States, I think it's virtually a lock on production for the Chinese market, and in tihs form too. Nothing here in the concept is too outlandish. It's thinly-guised, one of the those cars that you see greenlighted for production soon after, much like it's basis the Chevrolet Orlando. Time will tell just what the future of Buick really is, but if cars like this continue to come to the brand I think it will be a bright one!
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