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GM To Import North American-Bound Buick Envision From China Photo:
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Kez Casey | Nov, 16 2015 | 12 Comments

In a somewhat unusual move, General Motors will offer it’s seven-seat Buick Envision SUV for the North American market as a fully imported model, built in China, when it goes on sale in 2016.

The move will make GM the first US domestic manufacturer to import a Chinese-built vehicle and only the second 'old world' automaker to offer a Chinese-built passenger car in the US market (Volvo imported a limited number of Chinese-built long wheelbase S60 sedans to the US).

Sales estimates for the three-row SUV are tipped at around 40,000 per year, a figure that borders on being too low to establish a dedicated production facility in North America.

The arrangement isn’t set in stone just yet however, and GM is likely to face opposition from the powerful United Auto Workers union, who will voice concerns about potential damage to US jobs.

GM already has production facilities in Mexico and Canada that build vehicles for the USA, not to mention the Chevrolet SS sedan, a version of the Holden Commodore built in Australia for sale in North America.

Lower production overheads in China, coupled with a downturn in demand within the Chinese market are likely to have driven the move, allowing surplus production capacity to be taken up by US-bound vehicles.

The Envision is also a possible contender to replace the aging Holden Captiva, however Holden is yet to reveal its future plans for its SUV range, but with 24 new vehicles arriving in the next few years, a new Captiva range or a replacement for it, is sure to feature strongly.

Holden has previously announced that one third of its future models will be European sourced, but that Asia and the United States will also contribute to Holden’s future model mix.

Holden already sources vehicles from Thailand and South Korea, but is expected to shuffle supply chain resources with new model lines as they become available.

MORE: 2015 Buick Envision Revealed - Our Next Holden Captiva?

 
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