FINXING CHOU'S BUICK
Curators of former Chinese Premier Chou En-lai's residence in Shanghai have asked General Motors to help restore Chou's 1941 Buick sedan. GM, which seeks publicity for Buick as it launches production of Buicks in a new Shanghai joint venture, has not officially said yes - yet.
SOUNDS LIKE SUCCESS
Coming up with the right car name for the Chinese market can be a headache. Not only must the Chinese characters sound right, they also must carry auspicious meanings. Ford Motor (China) Ltd. searched many combinations of Chinese characters for a name for its Transit van. It settled on one with characters that have several meanings, including 'fully smooth,' 'good luck' and 'success.' The characters are pronounced transhun, similar to the sound of the Western name.
An unusual exhibitor for an auto show snared a lot of attention at this year's Shanghai event with a bright-yellow subcompact boasting some impressive numbers. Greenpeace, the environmental organization, showed its SmILE car. Based on a Renault Twingo, the 'Small, Intelligent, Light, Efficient' car gets twice the mileage of a normal Twingo - or about 68 mpg. Hong Kong-based Ho Wai Chi, whose Greenpeace business card gave his title as 'campaigner,' said it was the first time the SmILE had been shown outside Europe.