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Ada, Oklahoma, United States
A very strange story out of China today, as Hyundai and a Chinese Buick dealer were forced to face allegations of using allusions to an infamous child murder on a social media site as a way of promoting the safety features of their respective vehicles.
The original sad tale goes something like this: On March 4, a man reported to police that he had left his infant child in a running Toyota RAV4 while he ran into a supermarket briefly. When he came back out, the vehicle and the child were gone. Later in the week a suspect turned himself in to the police; confessing to them that he had stolen a sport-utility vehicle, strangled the infant that was in it, and then buried the child in the snow.
As you might imagine, the gristly incident was covered massively in the Chinese media. (There was huge public outcry as well, as evidenced by the vigil scene, above.) "Changchun baby abduction" was very quickly amongst the highest ranking search teams of the China's Weibo social media site - an equivalent of Twitter in the English-speaking world.
The Buick Envision crossover is supposed to have its big reveal on August 28 and be on display at the Chengdu Motor Show, but apparently the new midsize crossover just can't wait to meet its public. Car News China caught a completely undisguised example parking outside of the convention center where the show is held.
The Buick designers are going right down the middle with the styling with nothing too flashy to turn off potential buyers. Still, it's a handsome CUV that kind of looks like a stretched Encore from some angles with vents along the hood, a large greenhouse and a prominent crease running down the side.
This new midsizer is hitting the Chinese market first and reportedly rides on GM's Delta platform that's also found underneath the Buick Verano. According to Car News China, prices there are between 160,000 yuan and 220,000 yuan ($26,000 - $35,800 at current rates). However, it's also rumored to eventually make its way across the Pacific to give Buick buyers in the US an option between the Encore compact crossover and larger Enclave.
Judging by the spy shots we saw last week for the 2014 Buick LaCrosse and 2014 Buick Regal, we knew it wouldn't be much longer until we saw both sedans receive a grand debut. Today, Buick confirmed to Autoblog both cars will be introduced at the New York Auto Show next month, but no further information has yet been released about either model.
Having been on the market for an extra couple years, the changes to the LaCrosse appear to be more significant than those coming for the Regal, but both will be getting refreshed exterior designs as well as updated interiors. The Regal's new face brings it more in line with the all-new Encore and the restyled Enclave, while the LaCrosse should get a more distinctive, upscale appearance.
Both cars will be introduced exactly a month from today, and we'll be there to bring you all the coverage.