Buick May Bring Chinese-Made Envision To The U.S.
As luxury automakers continue to downsize their crossover and SUV lineups in the compact and subcompact segments, General Motors has been on the outside looking in, but Buick might be getting some help from an unlikely source. The compact Buick Envision is already on sale in the Chinese market, and a new report indicates that the crossover could be imported to the U.S. from China.
At this point, neither Cadillac nor Buick have a compact crossover, despite the fact that the Encore continues to be a strong seller, so importing from an existing plant seems to be the fastest way to get such a vehicle to U.S. buyers. The Chinese plant would have to increase plant production by more than 20 percent in order to export to the U.S., and that sounds like an easier task than adding a new line at an existing U.S.-based plant.
Volvo is about to become the first automaker to import a Chinese-made car to the U.S., but the problem there gets a little muddy for GM. The auto giant is in the midst of intense labor talks with the UAW, which hasn’t responded well to the recent news of the Envision’s possible import status. In short, the union’s vice president said such a move would be “alarming.”
Once the decision of whether or not to bring the Envision to the U.S. is made, China’s economy will surely play into GM’s decision on where to build it. Currently, the value of the yuan is plummeting, while the country’s stock market is faltering as well. You can read more about the state of China’s economic meltdown – and its effect on the global auto economy – in our recent in-depth report.
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Why it matters
Outside of the Chinese market, Buick has yet to announce any official production plans for the Envision, but the compact crossover would definitely be a great fit for Buick and General Motors as a whole. China’s economy and the UAW will each play significant roles in determining where the Envision is produced, if it is in fact brought to the U.S.
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Source: Automotive News