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Big Trouble at BYD

Chinese battery-car maker preparing major layoffs, looking for ways to reverse plunging demand.

by on Sep.06, 2011

BYD's dreams have lately turned into nightmares.

The name, BYD, is short for Build Your Dreams, but these days, it’s more like a nightmare for the once-promising Chinese battery-car maker.

With sales this year off by 23%, the maker is planning to lay off as many as 2,600 workers – somewhat ironically, most of them initially coming from its sales and marketing department.  Looking for a way to revive its faltering momentum, the company is exploring the possibility of moving the manufacturer up-market, it says.

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The maker’s problems could cause further delays in its planned entrance into the U.S. market.  Already pushed back by several years, BYD had been hoping to set up a network of stores that would not only handle the maker’s battery-cars and plug-in hybrids but also sell a mix of green technologies ranging from solar chargers to LED light bulbs.


First Look: Buick Envision Plug-in Hybrid Concept

A hint of the future for the Buick brand?

by on Apr.19, 2011

The splashy debut of Buick's new Envision plug-in hybrid concept helped kick off the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show.

With an elaborately staged show worthy of a Las Vegas revue, General Motors unveiled a new Buick concept vehicle as Shanghai Auto 2011, China’s largest auto show, was getting underway.

The Buick Envision SUV is a plug-in hybrid concept vehicle merging Buick’s global design language with Chinese aesthetics – and a variety of high-tech features.

“The Envision has inherited Buick design DNA and taken the Buick global design language to a new height. It makes a significant statement for Buick styling and technology, and will influence upcoming models from the brand,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design, who was on hand for the official debut.

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The resurgent Buick brand now sells more cars in China than the U.S., and that has led GM to rely more and more on the Asian nation’s designers and engineers when developing new products for the marque.  Envision inherits the essence of Buick’s “fluid dynamics and peaceful comfort,” said Holt Ware, director of design at Shanghai GM’s PATAC technical center.

“It introduces the development direction for Buick’s future SUV products for the China market,” added Shi Hong, Director of Buick Marketing at Shanghai GM