2015 Buick Envision (Chinese spec)Enlarge Photo
General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] may be the first major American automaker to sell a Chinese-made vehicle in the United States. It’s being reported GM has decided to bring over its Buick Envision to the U.S. from China by early 2016. The information was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the plan.
The Envision is a small crossover that made its world debut at the 2014 Chengdu Auto Show and competes with the likes of the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50 and Lexus NX. It’s assembled exclusively at a plant in China’s Shandong province and has long been thought to be headed Stateside.
GM is thought to be bringing a small batch of the crossovers initially—between 30,000 and 40,000—to test the acceptance of a Chinese-made vehicle by American new car buyers. It’s likely other automakers will be watching the vehicle’s reception closely to determine whether they, too, should source vehicles made in China.
Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] is thought to be considering importing its new Taurus from China because expected volumes are simply too low to justify starting production here. Volvo, which is owned by China’s Geely, was the first mainstream automaker to offer a Chinese-made car in the U.S., in this case the 2016 S60 Inscription.
Stay tuned for an update.