At present, Buick sells vehicles in the North American market and Chinese market, with China serving as the larger of the two for the Tri-Shield brand. Unsurprisingly, there’s a bit of overlap in the lineup between Buick’s U.S. and Chinese models, with several crossovers sold in both markets. What may be surprising, however, is that the design differences between the overlapping U.S. and Chinese models are nearly nonexistent.
In a recent interview between GM Authority executive editor Alex Luft and the director of Buick design Bob Boniface, Boniface was asked about the differences in Buick design preferences between the U.S. and China.
“We sell a lot of Buick models there [in China] that we don’t sell here [in the U.S.], but the design language and tastes are very similar,” Boniface told GM Authority. “We do a lot of research and you tend to see a lot of people who like the same vehicle categories and forms.”
Boniface did highlight one difference in customer tastes between the North American and Chinese markets, namely rear seat room.
“Obviously in China, the rear seat is a bit more of a priority for buyers, but not as many as you would think,” Boniface told GM Authority. “A lot of the bigger differences are related to feature content rather than design elements.”
Indeed, looking over the Buick models sold in both the U.S. and Chinese markets, the designs appear to be more or less identical. These include the Buick Envista, Buick Encore GX / Encore Plus, and the Buick Envision / Envision S. Looking ahead, it appears as though the design similarities will carryover for Buick’s upcoming all-electric models, as well. To note, the Buick Enclave sold in North America is a completely different (and much larger) model than the Enclave sold in China, and as such, is not included in the list of overlapping models.
That all said, there are a few content-related differences between these models, including light treatments, interior and exterior color options, and the like. But overall, these differences tend to be small and related to vehicle content, rather than major differences in design.