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Chinese Buick may head to US: report

Vision of the future: If it goes on sale in the US, the Buick Envision will be the first Chinese-built car from GM sold in the US, but it is unlikely to herald the same for Australia.

Buick Envision could be first Chinese-made American car sold in US

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Buick logo13 Nov 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

GENERAL Motors may become the first of the big three American brands to import a Chinese-made model to the US market, with reports that the Buick Envision could be on its way to the States.

American publication Automotive News is reporting that an inside source has revealed that a deal to import the Chinese-built five-seat SUV could go ahead as soon as the middle of next year.

If the agreement is confirmed, it will be the first time either GM, Ford or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has sold a China-sourced model on US soil, but GoAuto believes it is unlikely the arrangement will be duplicated in Australia.

Holden has already announced that when local production of Commodore and Cruze winds up in 2017, it will source all lion-badged vehicles from Europe, Asia and the United States, with a future Holden line-up drawn from GM's Buick and Opel/Vauxhall portfolios.

Holden has previously stated that a Captiva replacement is on the way as well as a new large unnamed SUV – likely to be a re-badged version of the Opel-built high-rider – but it is still unclear where the new Captiva will come from in the GM world.

Speaking to GoAuto, Holden product communications senior manager Kate Lonsdale could not comment on additions to the local range, but said that a change of name and source for the Trax small SUV was not out of the question.

“We're committed to a third of our products coming from Europe and obviously the Mokka is the European version of the Trax, but at this stage Trax is doing pretty well for us,” she said.

While it is confirmed that more vehicles will be coming from Europe, the possibility of Chinese-made cars for Australia is less certain, but Ms Lonsdale said customers were more concerned with the product and not where it came from.

“I think that's the case with a lot of car companies. When you think where BMWs and Mercedes and Holden are made, it's just part of the industry now. The place of manufacture is not as important as the product and what it represents.

“If it fits the Holden brand then I think people are quite open these days. As long as they are good cars then people are happy.”

GoAuto recently spied the facelifted Captiva 7 on local roads and Ms Lonsdale said there will be news regarding both the Captiva 7 and its ageing Captiva 5 sibling in the near future.

“We should have quite exciting stuff to talk about Captiva in the next few weeks,” she said.

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