General Motors is moving ahead with plans to sell the Chinese-made Buick Envision compact crossover in the US. The five-seat SUV would become the first light vehicle built in China and sold in the US by the Detroit 3.
Two insiders report that GM was likely to green light Envision exports to the U.S. for sale as early as late spring, but stopped short of saying the plan has been finalized.
Deliveries are expected to begin next spring, according to The Wall Street Journal. GM is targeting annual U.S. sales of 30,000 to 40,000 a year.
Buick wants to hit soon to take advantage of its success with the Encore and larger Enclave. Adding a third crossover to its US lineup would come at a time when Americans are embracing light trucks again.
A GM spokesman declined to comment on the automaker’s plans for the midsize crossover and called the Wall Street Journal report “speculation.”
Meanwhile, Automotive News reported in August and in 2014 that GM was considering exporting the Envision from China to the US next year.
Chinese-owned Volvo became the first company to export a China-made vehicle to American showrooms with the S60 Inscription sedan earlier this year. If GM moves forward with its plans you can bet the United Auto Workers won’t be too happy about it. The UAW wants to protect US factory jobs and calls the prospect of shipping the Envision to the US market from China “alarming.”
However, GM and the UAW “appear to have come to an understanding” after discussing the plans during contract negotiations, the Journal reported.