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It’s no secret General Motors’ Buick division does the majority of its business in China. The tri-shield brand offers up six separate nameplates in North America for 2017 while giving customers in China the choice of 10 (or 11, depending on how you count them) different nameplates.
One of the models Buick offers in China that it doesn’t offer here is this: the Buick GL8 — and it has a 30-year-old secret beneath its newly redesigned skin.
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They say impersonation is the greatest form of flattery, but that flattery has some serious financial consequences in the world of aftermarket parts.
Ohio-based Fidanza Performance, a supplier of aftermarket clutches, flywheels, and other parts, is the latest victim of Chinese knockoff artists selling “Fidanza-like” products on eBay and through unauthorized retailers.
Needless to say, Fidanza president Jeff Jenkins isn’t thrilled by the mimicry.
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Harkening back to its early days as a purveyor of horseless carriages, Ford Motor Company has patented a no-frills folding vehicle for those who want something more than a bicycle.
Intended for developing countries with poor infrastructure, the patent filing uncovered by Autoblog details a lightweight, endlessly configurable vehicle with a collapsible frame. Read More >
American Chevrolet Volt fans have long discussed how the quasi-upscale extended-range EV might have fared with a Buick badge instead of being branded as a bread-and-butter Chevrolet.
It appears the Chinese have gone beyond the discussion phase.
According to Chinese website Autohome, Shanghai GM gets it, and has pulled the strings to rename the Chevy Volt the Velite for a brand that is more prestigious and sells in higher volume in China. Read More >
Production of the Buick Verano is expected to end next month, but it seems we’ve already forgotten about the nameplate and the sort-of luxury compact car it was attached to.
The model lives on in China, but a hatchback bearing the Buick badge and a Verano GS nameplate has been seen driving near General Motors’ Milford, Michigan proving grounds, according to photos published by AutoGuide. Read More >
Over the years, various Chinese automakers have
been inspired by produced blatant copies of various mainstream automobiles.
The Landwind X7 appears to be a direct replica of the Range Rover Evoque. So much so, that Jaguar Land Rover recently sued Jiangling Motor, the largest shareholder of Landwind, for copyright infringement and unfair competition. Shockingly, that case is currently in a little bit of a limbo in the Chinese court system.
The worlds of Land Rover and Landwind literally collided today when a Landwind X7 and Range Rover Evoque got into a minor fender-bender. The accident happened in Chongqing, a small city in southwest China with a population roughly twice that of Los Angeles.
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As the saying goes, if you can’t sign a supply agreement with ’em, buy a part of ’em.
That’s clearly not a saying, but that’s what Samsung Electronics Company just did with Chinese electric automaker BYD, handing over $440 million deal for a 1.9 percent stake in the company. According to Bloomberg, a Samsung subsidiary was turned down by China as an approved supplier of batteries to the automaker, so the electronics giant tried another door. Read More >
Would you be furious if you invested millions to open a dealership, only for the manufacturer to supply just one vehicle with any sort of consistency? Of course you’d be.
That’s the problem some Hyundai dealers in China are facing now, who are in the unique situation of competing with another set of Hyundai dealers in the country. That’s a tall order: the only vehicle Hyundai supplies to those dealers on a regular basis is the Veloster hatchback. Now Hyundai has a Little Problem in Big China in the form of a $135 million lawsuit.
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Raise your hands if you’ve seen a Buick Envision, or even heard someone mention it?
The Chinese-built crossover is now on sale in the U.S., but you’d be forgiven for not knowing that. Due to a case of odd timing, the model will see a short (and expensive) 2016 model year before all trim lines go on sale this fall as a 2017 model.
With no advertising to be found, it seems General Motors figured “Nah, we’ll tell them about it later.” Read More >
After entering the hot Chinese car market two years ago, Lincoln Motor Company now wants to start building its vehicles there, sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg.
Lincoln is reportedly in talks with partner Changan Automobile Group to build a manufacturing facility — which would serve as an export hub — as early as 2018. Timing of production depends on whether sales continue their upward path. Read More >