While General Motors' total U.S. sales have been hard hit this year, the redesigned Buick LaCrosse is seeing explosive growth in China since launching this summer -- demonstrating the importance of the 106-year-old Buick brand in GM's portfolio.
Sales of the LaCrosse sedan jumped almost threefold in China during the first two full months of sales of the redesigned large sedan compared with last year.
GM sold more than 20,500 LaCrosse sedans in China during August and September, compared with about 7,000 during the same two-month period a year ago, according to company figures.
Those monthly totals are the highest the LaCrosse has had since being introduced to the Chinese market in 2006.
The redesigned LaCrosse has been widely praised by industry analysts but still faces an uphill fight in the United States, where the Buick brand has not been as well received.
In China, however, the brand is considered a premium player and its sales also are helped by a blazing overall sales market.
"You've got a great brand, and you've got a marvelously executed vehicle," said industry analyst Erich Merkle, president of Autoconomy.com. "It's like fire and gasoline, you can get a great explosion out of it."
U.S. sales of the LaCrosse, while down for the year, are also picking up compared with earlier in the year.