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The Chinese Are Coming…In Fact, Some Already Are Here

And a lot more are coming, though some will be built in the U.S.

by on Oct.30, 2017

Volvo will soon add a stretched version of its XC90, the Chinese-made Inscription.

The Chinese are coming! The Chinese are coming! No, that’s not the call of a modern-day Paul Revere, but a warning we’ve been hearing around automotive circles for the better part of a decade.

A number of China’s domestic brands have shown off their wares at big auto events, including the Detroit and Los Angeles Auto Shows, but have yet to make the big leap across the Pacific and actually offer them for sale. That could happen in the very near future. We saw both Chery and Borgward reveal products earmarked for Europe at the Frankfurt Motor Show just two months ago and we’d not be surprised to see more Chinese products at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit come January.

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But for those who still wonder if and when the Chinese will get the quality, design, safety and content up to the demanding standards of the U.S. market, the answer is that they’re already there. And the big surprise is that at least three Chinese-made products are already on sale in the States, albeit wearing, Volvo, Buick and Cadillac badges – and with Ford soon to start bringing in a Chinese-made sedan.


Buick on Target for New Sales Record with 2 Months to Go

Global sales up 23% for the year.

by on Oct.18, 2016

The Buick Envision is the first Chinese-made vehicles sold by a major automaker in the U.S.

For a brand that came close to being shut down six years ago, Buick is showing solid signs of good health, the maker today reporting it has topped the 1 million sales mark in record time with more than two months of the year left to continue burnishing the total.

Worldwide, Buick sales are up 23% so far this year – but the numbers can be a misleading. While there is no question Buick is on a record pace, the maker still lags behind prior peaks in the U.S. What’s driving the Buick build-up is the brand’s continuing momentum in China, now its largest single market.

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In fact, General Motors officials have told that the only reason Buick was not cast aside – along with Saab, Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac – when the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2010 was because of the damage that would have caused in China.


GM China Sales Continue Growth Spurt

Nearly all of company's brands were up in August.

by on Sep.07, 2016

GM China President Matt Tsien noted the company's mainstream passenger car entries helped GM to record sales in China last month.

Strong sales by Cadillac helped General Motors and its Chinese partners set a new sales record during August.

GM and its joint ventures delivered 293,537 vehicles in China, which was up 18% year over year. The Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and Baojun brands reached all-time highs for the month, the company said.

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“Our mainstream passenger car entries drove our sales momentum,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “We are looking to build on our success by adding another five new and refreshed models in the final four months.” (more…)

GM, Ford Set China Sales Records in January

Buick leads GM to new monthly benchmark.

by on Feb.08, 2016

The Buick Envision helped General Motors set a new January sales record in China.

Both General Motors and Ford set January sales records in China despite the continuing concerns about the Chinese economy.

In January, retail sales by General Motors and its joint ventures in China were up 7.3% year over year to a record 421,023 vehicles, as Buick posted its best-ever monthly sales, GM officials said. Demand was given a boost by the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday in early February.

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Buick sales in January grew 39% from a year earlier to 138,907 units. Monthly sales of the brand exceeded 130,000 units for the first time, led by the Excelle GT and Envision SUV. Sales of the Envision more than doubled last month year over year. (more…)

Buick Among Brands Setting New Sales Records

New Envision could put it on another record pace in 2016.

by on Dec.21, 2015

The Buick Envision has been a hit in China and could deliver similar results in the U.S.

With U.S. auto sales all but certain to end the year with an all-time record, and global auto sales running at an equally torrid pace, more than a few individual brands are set to celebrate a solid year. A number of marques, including Subaru, Audi and Porsche, already set all-time U.S. or global sales records by the end of November.

And quite a few others are expected to put 2015 into the record books when the year’s numbers are tallied in less than two weeks. That includes Buick. Yes, Buick, a brand General Motors came close to abandoning when it emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009.

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“Buick’s momentum is undeniable as new customers worldwide discover Buick’s lineup of beautiful, approachable premium vehicles,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick.


Buick Moving Ahead with Plans to Bring Chinese Car to US

Compact crossover could go on sale by late 2016.

by on Nov.13, 2015

The Buick Envision is already on sale in China.

General Motors’ Buick division is moving forward on plans to bring a Chinese-made vehicle to the U.S. market.

A version of the Buick Envision already on sale in China, the compact crossover is expected to go on sale here by late 2016, according to a Wall Street Journal report. That would make GM only the second manufacturer to import a vehicle from China.

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The booming Asian market – which is just rebounding from an unusual slump – is the largest outlet in the world for Buick, and GM now sells more vehicles in China than in the U.S. But as the market slows from years of high double-digit growth, the Detroit maker is looking to find other opportunities for the production capacity it has set up in Shanghai and other cities.


A Production Buick Avenir? Sort Of

Buick previews updated LaCrosse, picking up exotic concept’s cues.

by on Sep.23, 2015

A teaser shot reveals the "Avenir-inspired" grille of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.

Buick scored one of its rare, bit hits with the debut of the striking Avenir concept at the Detroit Auto Show last January. Ever since, there’s been plenty of buzz about whether the make might put that show car into production.

So, Buick is touching off another flurry as it offers up a carefully cropped teaser image of the next-generation LaCrosse sedan, set to debut at the L.A. Auto Show, suggesting it picks up “Avenir concept-inspired design cues.”

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“The Avenir concept shattered expectations of what a Buick could be and the 2017 LaCrosse promises to do the same,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “Its expressive design represents a break from convention and highlights the progressiveness in all new Buick models.”


GM Plan to Import Chinese-Made Buick Envision Could Create Problems

UAW calls move “tone-deaf” as it prepares strike vote.

by on Aug.18, 2015

Buick would like to fill a hole in its SUV line-up with the Chinese-made Envision.

The UAW wants to head off plans by General Motors to begin importing a new crossover-utility vehicle from China.

While the Detroit automaker has not made a formal announcement, it is widely expected to begin importing a version of the Buick Envision it produces at a plant near Beijing. It could fill an open niche in the expanding Buick crossover line-up, a spokesman confirmed, though GM might alternatively move to produce the Envision at a U.S. plant.

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The possibility of importing its first Chinese-made product to the U.S. isn’t sitting well with the United Auto Workers Union, which said such a move would be “tone-deaf.” The union is currently negotiating a new four-year contract with GM and is asking its workers to authorize a strike should talks fail to reach a settlement by the September 14th deadline.


Credit a Communist Chinese Leader for Buick’s Survival – and Record Sales

A brand that nearly vanished scores an unlikely turnaround.

by on Jan.09, 2014

The last emperor's Buick shown at a Chinese museum.

Buick, a brand many expected to be abandoned when General Motors emerged from bankruptcy nearly five years ago has not only proved naysayers wrong but done so by turning in an all-time global sales record for 2013.

Ironically, the one-time pride of the gilded age of American capitalism owes its survival to one of the most powerful communist leaders of the last century.

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Even as Buick City, its one-time home in Flint, Michigan was knocked down last year, the General Motors brand was gaining momentum on the opposite side of the world where it has become one of the most familiar names in booming China.  Credit last year’s nearly 16% increase in the overall Chinese automotive market for giving Buick the momentum to not just top the 1 million mark for the first time in 30 years but to set an all-time record.


GM, Ford Set China Sales Records

Makers run hot despite cool-down in Chinese economy.

by on Aug.06, 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally plants a kiss on the 7 millionth Transit van during a recent visit to China.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. both reported record sales in China last month, continuing to brush aside concerns about the economy of the Asian nation which has shown signs of cooling down in recent months.

GM, in particular, has been gaining ground in China in recent months, closing the gap with long-time rival and traditional market leader Volkswagen AG. Ford, though showing strong, double-digit gains, is still playing a game of catch-up after long delaying its entry into what is now the world’s largest automotive market.

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Sales by GM’s various joint ventures in China, increased 11.1% in July to 221,580 vehicles, which shattered the sales record set in July 2013. So far this year, China has become the company’s most important market, sales increasing by more than 10%. Last year, GM sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in China.

To underscore the growing importance of the Chinese market, GM this month announced that it would move Tim Lee, its head of International Operations, to a new post as chairman of GM China.