Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report -

IT IS not all one-way traf­fic from China. One lo­cal car­maker has made a small, but sig­nif­i­cant dent in auto ex­ports to the Chi­nese.

GM Holden ven­tured north in 2004 with some de­gree of suc­cess with its long-wheel­base States­man/Caprice mod­els, re­badged as the Buick Roy­aum.

The Roy­aum re­ceived favourable re­views from the Chi­nese and paved the way for fur­ther Holden ex­per­tise to be sent north.

The word Roy­aum is based on a French word that re­flects the Chi­nese words Rong, mean­ing sense of duty, and Yu, rep­re­sent­ing high so­cial po­si­tion and author­ity.

Holden fol­lowed up last year, un­veil­ing the Buick Park Av­enue, also based on the new States­man/Caprice, in Shang­hai.

The Park Av­enue utilises the 3.6-litre V6 en­gine and a unique 2.8-litre V6, both of which are be­ing built at GM Holden’s en­gine op­er­a­tions plant at Fish­er­mans Bend.

The Buick is be­ing built at Shang­hai GM’s Jin­qiao plant and is the first ve­hi­cle to go into pro­duc­tion out­side Aus­tralia util­is­ing the global rear-wheel-drive ar­chi­tec­ture de­vel­oped by GM Holden.

The car has an ex­te­rior based on the Holden States­man. The lav­ishly equipped in­te­rior has been re­designed by GM China to suit the lo­cal mar­ket, which places more em­pha­sis on the lux­ury in the back seat rather than the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

But Holden is ex­port­ing more than en­gines.

GM Holden’s rear-wheel-drive tech­nol­ogy is sought-af­ter through­out the GM world, as ev­i­denced by the work Holden en­gi­neers put into the Chevro­let Ca­maro un­veiled in the US last year.

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