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Since many do not have a WSJ logon, here is the article
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GM to Import Chinese-Made Buick SUV
U.S. auto maker poised to bring Buick Envision built in Shandong province to America

Buick is one of the most popular car brands in China, and a midsize sport-utility made there could soon be on its way to American dealers.

General Motors Co., fresh off agreeing to a new union contract that is expected to drive up its U.S. labor costs, plans to become the first major auto maker to sell Chinese-made cars in the U.S.

The nation’s No. 1 auto maker by sales early next year plans to start selling the Buick Envision, a midsize sport-utility vehicle made in Shandong province, according to people familiar with the plan. The move would add a third SUV to Buick’s U.S. lineup at a time when such crossovers are among the best selling vehicles in the market.

Initially, the company expects to import a modest number—between 30,000 and 40,000—a year. But it signals the beginning of a strategic production shift for the Detroit auto giant and a bold experiment that will be closely followed by other auto companies that have said they would eventually consider such a move.

Long among the top foreign sellers in China by volume, GM has confined production there to meeting China’s recent explosive demand. But as sales gains have moderated and Chinese tastes in cars converge with Americans’, the potential for more Chinese imports from GM and others could blossom.

Global auto makers had been slow to ship Chinese vehicles to the U.S. and Europe, fearing Western buyers would shun them over quality concerns. Volvo Car Corp., a small auto maker owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., was the first to challenge that assumption when it started shipping sedans from a plant in China to the U.S. this spring.

The arrival of Chinese-made Buicks in the U.S. is likely to rile the United Auto Workers union, which has struggled to gain approval from its members for recent labor deals, in part over U.S. production guarantees. Over the summer, as rumors spread that GM was considering importing vehicles from China, UAW officials called the prospect concerning.

However, the UAW and GM discussed the move during recent labor talks and appear to have come to an understanding. Union officials have been hit hard in recent months with news that production of some smaller, less-profitable passenger cars now built in the U.S. will move to Mexican factories over the course of the next four-year labor contract.

In 2011, the UAW agreed to a wage contract that led to big bonuses for workers and the addition of tens of thousands of factory jobs. This year, union officials won much richer contracts that are expected to undermine those investment decisions and lead Detroit executives to look for lower-cost manufacturing options.

GM officials briefed on the plan say importing the Buick Envision would fill a gap in the brand’s product line, and isn’t a cost-saving measure. Buick’s U.S. presence has declined as the auto maker’s market share slid and Chevrolet took center stage as its mass-market brand. Buick’s U.S. volumes have recovered in recent years on more attractive models and a near-record pace for light-vehicle demand.

In the U.S., Buick’s most popular offering is a small crossover called the Encore that is built in South Korea. GM has used its Korean plants to supply low-cost vehicles for more than a decade, but lately has been rethinking that strategy due to rising Korean labor costs.

The brand’s second-best seller in the U.S. is the Enclave, a larger crossover built in Michigan. By adding a third crossover vehicle to the lineup, GM could accelerate Buick’s attempt to take on other premium auto brands, such as Honda Motor Co.’s Acura or Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln.

Salt Lake City Buick dealer Jerry Seiner said customers are much less concerned about driving cars made in China or other countries today than in the past. He believes a Chinese-made Buick would do well in America as long as it meets the quality standards customers expect.

“I don’t think there’s a negativity that there would have been when people were talking about [making cars] in Mexico and Korea” years ago, Mr. Seiner said.

Rich Walicki, vice president of Jim Winter Buick in Jackson, Mich., said there is a clear need in Buick’s lineup for a midsize crossover for younger families with children. “It’s a great gap to fill and we’d love to have it,” Mr. Walicki said.

Buick has been successful importing the smaller Encore and customers would welcome a slightly larger vehicle with more power, he said. A Buick minivan now sold in China also would boost GM’s product line since the company currently doesn’t have an offering in that segment, he added.

As Buick sales were fading in the U.S. several years ago, they were fast rising in China, now the biggest new-car market in the world. Buick today is one of GM’s two top brands in China alongside its commercial Wuling offerings, and represents nearly a third of its sales volume there—far exceeding Chevrolet, Baojun or Cadillac sales.

In the U.S., Buick represents about 7% of the auto maker’s volumes. There were more than 100,000 Buicks sold in China last month compared with fewer than 19,000 in the U.S.

GM’s top Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp., will play a significant role in a $5 billion initiative aimed at developing a more competitive car for emerging markets, including India. And executives are looking to ramp up the popularity of Chevrolet, Cadillac and Baojun.
 

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I'm a Buick fan, I currently have a 72 Gran Sport sitting in my garage... it's like a 3rd child to me, just ask my wife. For us to understand why Buick sells so well in China you have to see it like Cadillac is viewed here.... Buick is China's Cadillac.

Buick has that stigma of being an old person's car.... honestly, most of the ppl in the market for a new car can't think of anybody but their grandparents who own a Buick.

Buick needs to throw a wild card into the mix, bring back the Skylark and throw a turbo V-6 in it.... and you HAVE to make it RWD. C'mon Buick "Everybody else is doing it" Ford, Chevy, Dodge all have versions of thir 70's muscle cars..... Hell, even Cadillac has a RWD muscle car. Olds is gone, Plymouth is gone.... you are all that's left Buick, make it exciting again. Once Buick can bounce the stigma of being an old timers car they can appeal more to the younger market... I know they have made a push as of lately to bring out crossovers and smaller cars.... the Turbo Rivera is nice but still doesn't look mean. Make Corvette scared again with a revamped Grand Nasty! :-D
 

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Walk thru any GM car dealer's lot and read on the window sticker on the new cars and see where the engine and transmission are made, many models have at least one made in China. Chevy has the most.

The irony is by the time that American production of cars end, the cost of production in foreign countries will rise and cancel any savings, Japan did that, Germany did that, Korea is reaching that point. The original VW beetle in the early 50's was $800. The Toyota Corolla in 1969 was 2/3 the cost of the Ford Pinto. Now German cars are made in America as are Japanese cars. American cars are made in Canada and Mexico.

Thirty years from now Chinese cars will be made in Bangladesh as it will be the low cost producer as India becomes too costly.
 

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The car I owned the longest and enjoyed the most of anything I've ever owned was a '99 Buick Regal LS - at half the age of Buick's target demographic. It certainly wasn't the most trouble-free and the residual value was awful. The MSRP was $24K. I paid $22K. I sold it for $3K after 7 years and 100,000 miles in absolutely outstanding condition. As of last year, it was still on the road, though large sheets of the white paint had peeled off in typical GM fashion and it had a half-dozen used car dealer logos on the back indicating it had been sold several times. It looked like it hadn't been washed since I sold it, either. Quite sad considering how immaculate I keep a vehicle.

In the 90s/2000s, the Chinese Regal was a very prestigious automobile to own there. It had more features and luxury appointments than the US version, even though it had a smaller, less-powerful engine that couldn't compete with the 3.8L V6 used in the US - let alone the supercharged version.

Chinese sourcing doesn't bother me much these days in terms of quality. Perhaps I have some political or economic reservations, but Apple and other products have proven that Chinese labor can do as good as anyone else.

I'm older and wiser than I was back then. At least in the present, I can't bring myself to throw my money into a Buick - or anything other GM, if not any "domestic" brand at all for that matter. Virtually all automobiles are poor investments, but I try and minimize the financial damage.
 

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Buick is the Chinese Cadillac. The reason being: that's what Mao preferred. So just like Lincolns and Caddys were the symbol here for wealth and the envy of many growing up...Buick was to the Chinese people. I'd bet a good meal that's why Olds is gone and Buick stayed. China. GM has a very large campus over there and factories in several places

The 2010 Buick Lacrosse had a good part of it's design done by their Chinese design team. Many of the models designed for China by foreign companies have better styling than here IMO. We were in Shanghai the entire month of September this year, staying with a friend well up the GM ladder. I certainly don't bleed GM. I've got Dodge, GM, and Honda in the garage right now. ..Had a Roush SC Mustang till last spring as well. I will say the 2010 Lacrosse was the best cruising car we've ever had...until we got the 14 new style Impala

GM sells more new cars in China than here. 3.5 million last year. It's the largest new car market in the world. They surpassed us in new car volume several years ago. Every car company that wants to be is well planted over there and looking for more market share. China's 2017 car emissions standards will be tougher than our current ones I'm told. Ongoing electric car technology (which many are opposed to here) will be basically subsidized by the Chinese. It's the way forward there with air quality. GM is big into it over there. Ironically, we will benefit from these advances in electric vehicles over here. Battery technology will follow. Another example of advancing electric technology: There are 10s of millions of electric bikes and motor scooters over there. ..Many many times the number of gas scooters.
 

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The car I owned the longest and enjoyed the most of anything I've ever owned was a '99 Buick Regal LS - at half the age of Buick's target demographic. It certainly wasn't the most trouble-free and the residual value was awful. The MSRP was $24K. I paid $22K. I sold it for $3K after 7 years and 100,000 miles in absolutely outstanding condition. As of last year, it was still on the road, though large sheets of the white paint had peeled off in typical GM fashion and it had a half-dozen used car dealer logos on the back indicating it had been sold several times. It looked like it hadn't been washed since I sold it, either. Quite sad considering how immaculate I keep a vehicle.

In the 90s/2000s, the Chinese Regal was a very prestigious automobile to own there. It had more features and luxury appointments than the US version, even though it had a smaller, less-powerful engine that couldn't compete with the 3.8L V6 used in the US - let alone the supercharged version.

Chinese sourcing doesn't bother me much these days in terms of quality. Perhaps I have some political or economic reservations, but Apple and other products have proven that Chinese labor can do as good as anyone else.

I'm older and wiser than I was back then. At least in the present, I can't bring myself to throw my money into a Buick - or anything other GM, if not any "domestic" brand at all for that matter. Virtually all automobiles are poor investments, but I try and minimize the financial damage.
zroger73..... I thought you would be all over the Envision, seeing it has the 'center console armrest' that we all know you are so fond of. :)
 

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Im sure the china made vehicle is fine. its mexico that will kill our auto economy. Make no mistake this nation still needs auto industry, cars still drive everything. Didn't like ross perot but he was right. Nafta is giant sucking sound and no penalties or tarriffs for n american made including mx now.
 
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