The hit of the Shanghai Auto Show – the swoopy Buick Riviera concept car – “ay someday see the light of day,” according to Bob Lutz, General Motors’ Vice-Chairman. Calling the Riviera a “nice execution,” Lutz also suggested that a version of the Chinese Buick Park Avenue might eventually come to the North American market. Lutz said that the Chinese “simply are the first market to get the Buick Park Avenue. That vehicle or a variant of it is always a possibility for Buick in the future.”
Lutz’s statements were posted on the GM FastLane blog and were aimed at critics who see Buick’s offerings in China as superior to those available in the United States. The Buick line-up in the States is front wheel drive, while the Chinese Park Avenue is rear wheel drive. It has, however, been reported in the past that it was Buick’s own dealers who opted for the front wheel drive car, after the company polled them on their product preferences.
Lutz’s statements, however, provided no clue whether he was engaged in a form of corporate wishful-thinking or, instead, was hinting at something more concrete. Lutz did, however, make it clear that GM intends to improve the image of Buick. “It will be priced up. Think of an American Lexus at a lower price point.” But Lutz qualified that remark by also asserting that it would always be Cadillac that was the top of the GM line and that Buick would remain positioned below Cadillac in price and prestige.