GM to sell Made-in-China Buick

Automotive News reports that General Motors is going ahead with plans to sell the Envision in the US, possibly as early as this spring.

The Buick brand set a record in China last month as sales surged by 42 percent to more than 100,000 units, far exceeding the 18,660 units - a 0.3-percent decline - in the US. This would be the third SUV in Buick's USA inventory, at a time when SUVs are among the best-selling vehicles in the market. Nothing is official, but the sources suggested the company is only expecting to sell between 30,000 - 40,000 units annually in the United States. UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg says the union still stands behind Estrada's statement in light of Thursday's announcement. However, this shows the beginning of a new era for the auto giant and other automakers in the region, which plan to follow such a move.

Buick has been one of GM's fastest-growing brands in the USA, and it is the company's most well-known brand in China.

The Chinese-made Envision would join the Enclave - assembled in Lansing, Mich. - and the multi-national Encore subcompact crossover (built and imported from South Korea, Mexico and Spain).

As part of the tentative labor agreement, GM pledged to invest another $1.9 billion on top of a previously committed $6.4 billion investment in USA plants over the next few years. But apparently that did not include the tooling and assembly of the Envision. But auto sales are slowing in China, where GM has installed a huge production base over the past decade.

The Chinese government has deliberately devalued its currency, the yuan or renminbi, to stimulate consumer spending.

Vanessa Coleman