Americans Say So What to Made-in-China Buick Envision

American shoppers are continuing to prove they simply don’t care about a vehicle’s provenance, so long as it provides a proper content experience. 

The made-in-China Buick Envision began arriving at dealers late this past spring in limited numbers, and according to the Wall Street Journaldealers have been begging for more and more of them ever since, because consumers are coming for the car, not its country of origin.

“There has been very little pushback,” Chris Haydocy, co-owner of the Haydocy Buick GMC in Columbus told The Grey Lady. “Most people realize the world is flat now.”

Since Buick announced intentions to bring over the Yantai, China built Envision many have had a tempestuous relationship with the crossover, sure the product is right, but shipping it from China was just wrong, especially after the U.S taxpayer financially supported General Motors through its 2009 bankruptcy.

But they weren’t the only ones.

Among the bluster of the U.S auto industry bailout GM was forced to sell 1-percent of Shanghai GM to its Chinese partner SAIC, beginning a long shift in strategy which would later come to alter the fates of GM Korea and Holden in Australia.

Because GM wasn’t allowed to spend TARP money on operations outside of the U.S, it turned to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation for liquidity, which long story short, helped put SAIC on equal footing and perhaps precipitated products like the Buick Envision.

The Envision was designed and engineered in Detroit just like all North American products, but considering the Chinese are capable of gobbling up 200,000 of them annually, while North America will struggle to take home 20,000, the decision to simply carve out capacity in Shandong made more sense.

“This is the advantage of having such a strong presence in the two biggest markets in the world,” GM North America President Alan Batey was quoted as saying by the WSJ. “We couldn’t have done it [in the U.S.] if China hadn’t done that vehicle.”

Why?

Because Buick sales in China are quadruple annual U.S volume.

It’s a sign that any Buick exclusive product will need approval in China before becoming a reality. You can be assured, should the Chinese ever demand a 2-door GT like the Buick Avista, one will be given to us quite gladly, but certainly not the other way around.

In fact the import strategy’s only drawback has been the cadence of shipments. One Buick dealer says large batches arrive and then nothing more for months, adding to the problem, long shipping times have stretched the wait for custom-ordered Envisions to six months, double the industry average.

 

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