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by George Skentzos

GM will reposition Buick China as an affordable luxury car manufacturer, producing future models based on the Australian developed Zeta platform among others.

The Holden export spec Statesman known locally as the Park Avenue is currently their most luxurious model.

GM will rely on Chinese engineers to develop future models based on GM’s current platforms. Included in the future lineup is a small Excelle sedan due late next year, which will be based on GM’s Alpha platform currently being developed in Germany, followed by the LaCrosse sedan in late 2009 being developed on GM’s Epsilon 2 vehicle architecture.

The locally designed Zeta platform will form the basis for the new Buick Lucerne, however it is not scheduled for an update until 2011.

The first cars will be imported from Holden Australia with production eventually moving to the Oshawa site in Ontario.

Whilst on the surface this may seem like great news for Holden, in reality the long term effects may be quite devastating. Chinese cars have never been known for their quality or safety, quite the contrary in fact and should future Zeta-based Chinese engineered cars follow this trend, the repercussions on Holden’s worldwide image could be severe.