Search Cars for Sale

General Motors Sells a Minivan in China, But Not Here

Here’s something that may surprise you: General Motors pulled out of the minivan market in North America in 2008, but they never left the minivan market in China. In fact, General Motors still sells a modern, nice-looking minivan for the Chinese market — one that looks like it would rival the Toyota Sienna or the Honda Odyssey if it were sold here. But, well, it isn’t.

The original General Motors minivan in China debuted in 1999, and it was little more than a badge-engineered version of the Chevrolet Venture and the Oldsmobile Silhouette vans that were being sold in North America at the time. The Venture and the Silhouette eventually became the Chevrolet Uplander and the Buick Terraza (and the Saturn Relay and the Pontiac Montana SV6) in North America, and then they were canceled altogether after the 2008 model year.

But not in China. In China, the Buick GL8, as it was called, was redesigned for the 2011 model year with a handsome, modern look and a 4- or 6-cylinder engine. The GL8 was just redesigned again for the 2017 model year, and you can see the results above. It truly looks like the kind of van that would be a great competitor to the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna and others — and it’s roughly the same size, at 204 to 206 inches in length. It is, essentially, a competitive North American minivan.

But the Buick GL8 isn’t offered here. When GM pulled out of the minivan market following the 2008 model year, they instead decided to focus on SUVs and crossovers — and so they have, giving us the Equinox, the Blazer, the Traverse, the Terrain and many others. Still, it seems to me this van could come to the U.S. and do fairly well with only minor changes, but it doesn’t seem that will happen. Indeed, General Motors still makes a competitive minivan, but most Americans will never see it.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here’s Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Buick News & Reviews

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

How Much Money Should You Put Down on a Car?

Determining the right down payment for a new- or used-car loan or a new-car lease depends on more than just the buyer's finances.

Best SUV Deals: September 2020

Now is a great time to buy an SUV. Those who can afford a new ride are in luck because there are some great cashback and lease incentives right now.

Research by Style

More Articles Like This