By on December 29, 2015

buick-envision-usa-1

A picture is worth a thousand words, or millions of dollars worth of cars not built by the United Auto Workers.

That, and Buick is planning a surprise for Detroit, oil prices are ever-so-slightly up, a super mullet El Camino, and Manny, Moe and Jack … after the break!

buick-envision-usa-2

Chinese Buicks are on their way to the USA

The Chinese-built Buick Envision is on its way to the United States just over a month after the United Auto Workers ratified its contract with General Motors.

The Envision, built by joint venture SAIC GM Dong Yue Motors, is seen here sitting at port before being loaded on a car carrier to set sail for the United States, reports CarNewsChina.

Future owners of the Envision can expect a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood as GM will not offer the smaller 1.5-liter turbo engine in the U.S. It goes on sale in July.

The GM-UAW contract was ratified even after 60 percent of skilled trades workers voted against it.

2014 Buick Enclave Exterior-006

What’s Buick bringing to Detroit? Probably a new Enclave.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Buick is planning a surprise for the Detroit Auto Show next month. Part of keeping that surprise is not talking about it, so Buick’s Duncan Aldred declined to discuss details.

Instead, let the speculation begin!

The Freep says it could be a production version of the Avenir concept shown last year, but sedans are selling as well as ice cream in the middle of January at the COBO Center. The Freep offers up a more likely candidate — a redesigned Enclave — which is where we’ll put our bets.

That or it’s a concept.

One thing the surprise reveal definitely isn’t: a Buick Verano hatchback, which is simply an Opel Astra with Buick badges in China. We have it under good authority that the Verano won’t spawn a fifth door in North America.

1984ChevroletElCamino_01_1000-700x458

I didn’t know you could mullet harder than an El Camino, but you can!

Look at this! The only thing missing from this picture is some guy named Bubba with way too much Powerball money driving into the Florida sunset with his new dog named Jeb!

Thanks to Hemmings, I now know the 1984 Chevrolet El Camino IROC-S was, in fact, a thing and one is for sale for the low, low stupid crazy price of $27,750.

If one of our readers buys this, we will send Jack to track test it.

Sergeant Major Oil Well - Arnegard, North Dakota Circa July 2013

The price of oil went up half a tick, but is still insanely low

Based on a few guys in New York City casually saying, “It’s getting a little colder outside,” the price of oil went up a dollar, reports Reuters. But that dollar is added on top of record low prices for that sweet, sweet horsepower juice.

Both Brent and WTI crude are sitting under $40/barrell. Remember when it was $100 a pop? Those were the days.

Those record lows are contributing to budget deficits in resource-heavy economies, such as Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich nation has posted a $98 billion (with a B) shortfall for 2015. It’s solution to the deficit: pump more oil.

That other war that nobody is really talking about probably isn’t helping matters though.

PepBoysLogo_PressRelease

How many crappy accessories could you get for $1 billion? Carl Icahn might find out.

Even though Pep Boys agreed to Bridgestone’s latest takeover bid, Carl Icahn is unwavering in his determination to buy the aftermarket part and service company.

According to Automotive News, Icahn has now upped the bid to $18.50/share, for a total now eclipsing the $1 billion (with a B) mark. Pep Boys has three days to respond to the offer.

But that’s not all, according to AN:

In announcing the proposal, Icahn Enterprises said it would be willing to pay an even higher price, so long as Pep Boys doesn’t increase the termination fee in its deal with Bridgestone.

Bridgestone initially offered $835 million to purchase Pep Boys in October.

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70 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: How Low Can Oil Go, IROC an El Camino, and What’s Buick Bringing to Detroit?...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    The Envision will hit a very sweet spot with mainstream oldsters who think the Encore is just a wee bit tiny but don’t want the massive Enclave (so perfectly named!).

    A nice, comfy CUV that still leaves beaucoup garage space for bags of bird food, cat litter and the snowblower!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      With a garage like that they’re asking for a mice invasion.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        You must live in a tough mouse neighborhood. My only critter problems are voles and squirrels.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I live near to a large county park/forest area. I’m about a half mile from its border, and there are no roads in between to have stuff get run over.

          Birds
          Moles
          Squirrels, gray
          Squirrels, red *new!*
          Deer
          Mice
          Coons
          Chipmunks *way annoying!*
          Snakes *non venom type*
          Rabbits
          Vultures
          Hawks

          I have successfully gone a year with no mice, but I keep four traps primed just in case. They don’t care if the peanut butter is rotted, I’ve found.

          I got woken up at 2 AM last winter during a nice snowfall sleep by some deer outside who decided to have an antler fight on my driveway.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well, now that you mention it I do have a low-level presence of most of those, but not to any annoying or property damaging degree.

            I can see where being nearly contiguous to a large forested area with no intervening road would bring you Nature’s bounty.

            I *do* get awesome critter versions of the Battle of Britain when the hawks and crows go at each other directly overhead at see-every-feather altitude.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I vote hawks. They’re majestic and cool with big talons, and crows are garbage birds (though clever).

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Coolest thing is that my property appears to be at the perimeter of the crow’s air-defence circle so the hawks can call a time out by dropping down into my neighbor lady’s ginormous maples and oaks.

            That gives me a superb view and sound as they preen and make weird little hawk noises. Regrettably, several of my second-growth trees have had to be felled due to disease so her’s are the hawks official neutral zone.

            Dumb bunny former owners of my property either didn’t care enough or couldn’t afford tree surgeons to catch things in time.

          • 0 avatar
            TEXN3

            Wow, and I thought the moose and elk around here were a problem. Definitely won’t see many cougars in that Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            In the summer, I get to watch bald eagles hunt on the lake my cottage is on. That’s some majestic $hit.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            One of my cats regularly brings in live mice, shrews, and voles, and on two occasions smallish black rats. I’ve put several traps out but the one that always gets them, usually before I even realize they’re in the house, is behind the range.

            Unfortunately nature shows outside my window are limited to the occasional squirrel-on-crow action. That’s too one-sided to be much fun; one crow has the smarts of a neighborhood worth of squirrels.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have cancelled the meeting of the Counsel, then. So you got into lawyering later in life?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Mullet Food is not Aussie Utes, but older F250’s and F350’s that were built in Australia until 1980
      http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk200/RobertRyan4/image_zpseenup9nu.jpeg

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Seriously, who wants a made in China General Motors vehicle? My iPad? Fine. Not ready for my car to come from there yet.

    It’s funny to me that my Toyota only took a few days train ride to Minnesota from it’s birthplace and GM is now sending us vehicles from the other side of the planet.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Believe me if the price is right they will sell. People bought the truly pos Yugo.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You know your car is bad when NATO targets the arms factory next door but “accidentally” bombs the car factory instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Funky

        Fred; The Yugo was represented honestly as a Yugo versus this Buick which will most likely not be represented as a “proudly made in China” Buick.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          So how many American cars are made in Mexico or Canada? Why do we still think Accords and Camry as foreign cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Funky

            This is a good point. Ford and General Motors, I think, proudly admit to building vehicles in Mexico and in Canada. Honda and Toyota also proudly admit that some of their vehicles are made in the USA. A different discussion for a different day could be whether there is a difference in quality versus Ford and GM products made in the USA and those made in Mexico and Canada or a difference versus Honda and Toyota products made in the USA versus Japan. Regardless of the potential differences in quality, Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota all proudly admit to building vehicles in Mexico, Canada, and in the USA. And I doubt GM/Buick (or others like Volvo) will openly state to their customers they are proudly building vehicles in China for import to the USA.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          They will market the Buicks as globally sourced. It will work, at first. But quality issues and political issues may catch up to them. And GM will end up outsmarting itself, again. Personally, I hope this blows up in GM’s face and this crappy company finally goes out of business.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      If you have a modern car odds are there are a bunch of critical parts “Made In China” in your car anyway.

      And your Ipad can kill you just as well as a car can. Case in point those exploding hoverboards. Your Ipad is made in China but doesn’t explode and burn your house down while you sleep. What is the difference? The Ipad and its manufacturing process are designed by Apple, and all of its components are quality checked. A Chinese made Buick is no different. This mindless xenophobia is ridiculous…. you are like 30 years late lol.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You’re facing some challenges mathematically.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8944028/One-third-of-Chinese-toys-contain-heavy-metals.html

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          As an AFOL, I got caught up in the Internet uproar when we found out our beloved Lego was starting production in Chinese factories. If we’re paying $0.13/brick (the new ratio after the inflation adjustment), we’d better be getting European quality!

          Although admittedly, I haven’t bought anything new since 2009, so I can’t claim any noticeable decrease in quality. In 2006-2008, there was a bad batch of defective plastic that resulted in broken pieces (which is pretty much the only way you can “lose” at Lego), but that was a materials issue, not a location one.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “It goes on sale in July”

    That boat is really slow.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    You just know people will buy this Chinese Buick, not knowing or bothering to find out it’s made in China, and finding out afterwards and being furious. I could totally see my Dad doing that.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I wouldn’t presume such obliviousness on your Dad’s part.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        You’re right, he’d ask me about it and I’d tell him.

        But if it were up to him to read the window sticker, it could easily be overlooked.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          But he’s also probably events-literate enough to have picked up the fact from general news/business reporting.

          I would venture that his attitude is somewhat similar to mine (I’m 61):

          “Well, first Japan, then Korea, now China. I’ve seen this before.”

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I must have missed it when Japan successfully bought a US President, spent their years of market growth expanding their military capabilities, and launched cyber attacks on the US regularly.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “I must have missed it when Japan…”

            Heh… I was out ordering a new hip but I left my laptop open so your snark arrow embedded in my chair.

            I’m gonna wash it with bleach, rinse it off real well and use it as a pickle sticker!

            Be fair, there was no “cyber” anything in the ’60s or ’70s for the Japanese to play with, they bought up American businesses and university chairs left & right, and they *did* have one notable little tantrum against us between ’41 and ’45.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          They just need to bring back the “Premium American Motorcars” slogan.

          Nobody will ever think to research!

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    That’s a hell of an El Camino.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Will it also have Chinese made tires? If it does, I don’t want it.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Yes, some GT Radials will be a good addition to this car. Although would the average buyer notice a difference? That’s what they would replace them with anyway once the first set is worn.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        MBella,
        I agree with you the “average” buyer will not be able to distinguish the difference between a decent tyre and a cheap tyre.

        Most only know the air pressure in a tyre is low because of the dashboard cautioned displayed.

        Most wouldn’t explore the handling limits of their vehicles. You see many who just jump in start a cold engine and rev the sh!t out of them and don’t allow the working parts to warm up. Warming up is significant as it allows the fit and clearances of an engine to take up when the engine is at working temperature.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        This is GM. They’ll opt for Wang Chung branded “Steel Belted Radials”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, this is the true beginning of the Chinese motor vehicle invasion. Appliance type vehicles will come out of China, similarly to Korea and Japan. The biggest difference is, the Chinese vehicles must be from reknown Western Manufacturers. Korea did offer some vehicles from Kia and Daewoo branded as Fords and GMs.

    I think it will take a couple of decades for China to have a Chinese brand with the reputation like some of the Japanese or Korean manufacturers.

    The Chinese will offer the manufacturers a way to value add easily. It’s interesting to note that it’s a CUV. CUV competition must be greater than buying a car ……………… then maybe one day you guys in the US can be able to import some of those Asian pickups.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Buick RaClosse…ReSable…Loadmastel…Wirdcat…Skyralk…Supel…GlandNationar..Erectla…PalkAvenue…Rucelne…Livela…
    The futule is Blight !…for GM …Suicide Watch begins again !

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Are people who wouldn’t buy a Chinese car BIGOTS ? Actually, I own two Japanese cars.
    (but NO Chinese cars)

    First a Chinese Buick. Next almost certainly Chinese Chevrolets
    Then Cadillacs with Chinese engines ?
    GM is back on the path to extinction.

  • avatar

    Stop the Invasion, Boycott Envision. I will impact the unit’s acceptance.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Why is Buickman so anti-China?

      Is it because the US fought the Chinese in WW2? Oh wait, no, the US fought the Germans, who then made all those Opels he so happily used to sell in Buick dealerships. Where was Buickman’s boycott then? He’s been pretty happy selling lots of Canadian made Buicks, right? And aren’t some of the GMC Sierra trucks he sells built in Mexico?

      So what is his problem with China? I think Buickman made a pass at someone Chinese in a bar last night and got turned down, and now he want’s to block THEIR unit’s acceptance.

      When will Buickman figure out that Buick is a Chinese brand that just happens to sell some cars in the US?

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Post-war Germany and Mexico were never existential threats to our prosperity. China’s hugeness and development make it exactly that. He thinks we can still do something about it.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Every 4 years, one of our political parties tries to get elected by conning the gullible into believing that America is under attack, and only they can retore its greatness. But that doesn’t change the fact that the US hasn’t faced an existential threat since 1865.

          China’s development is the reason inflation is so low, which has allowed the Fed to focus on economic expansion for the last 7 years. The more closely tied our cultures and economies are, the lower the risks to each other.

          If Buickman has fantasies about slowing China’s development, Envision exports are the itch on the bacteria on the flea on the tail of the dog.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “the US hasn’t faced an existential threat since 1865.”

            The cause of which has done nothing but metastasize to become the leading morbidity in this country. One interesting time begets another.

            But, no, China hasn’t just become an existential threat to millions of working Americans; it’s been an executioner.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It’s not China-specific, but there is a global race to the bottom in terms of which nations can provide the cheapest labor, coupled with rapidly accelerating automation of previous moderate and even relatively high wage jobs, on top of the financialization of many economies, that REALLY is driving both income (wage) & wealth (assets owned) inequality at a breakneck pace, that REALLY is posing an increasingly more potent existential threat to the “American Way of Life” (i.e. large middle class and high levels of upward economic mobility), at least in the U.S. (hence the rise of the Trump and the Sanders).

            People understand that the U.S. is trending rich man-poor man even if they don’t understand the economic & geopolitical reasons for this and aren’t able to specifically articulate this; they are unnerved greatly by what they view as a rising tide of inequality, corruption, financialization of the economy and assault on the middle and working class.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Kissinger and/or Nixon most likely sold us out to Mao in 1972, its game over.

      • 0 avatar

        Wo xihuan Zhongguo. spent 7 years learning Mandarin, the culture, geography. philosophy. the best translation is into German then English. everything from Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to the I Ching. in fact, I probably know more about the Middle Kingdom than anyone who has never been there. I was instrumental in Buick being the lead GM division. that aside. keep those Commie cars off my shores. build them there. sell them there.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “Thanks for the bailout, U.S. taxpayers!”

    Signed:

    GM* & UAW

    *Guangzhou Motors

    **”That’s not a Buick!”
    “Oh yes it is.”
    “Made completely in China & imported from China?”
    “Yup.”

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Modern, large scale automakers are in a global marketplace. As such, they need to source talent globally. Which means that to stay in business, automakers need to engineer, manufacture and market based on where the talent is.

      There is a lot of great engineering talent in South Korea. There is a lot of great manufacturing in China. And a lot of great marketing talent in NYC.

      That is how it is, DW, and you are just going to have to deal with it.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        Blah, blah, blah… That is what Irwin said
        when they bought VISE-GRIP and sent my job to China.
        P.S.- I also own three American trucks, built in U.S.A, and my Toyota was built in Indiana by Indians, I suppose.
        Is THAT wacist ?

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    “GM Dong Yue Motors”? Really?

    Truth is funnier than satire.

  • avatar
    iamcanjim

    There are benefits are drawbacks to manufacturing in China beyond the consumer lashback. All GM units in China are Joint Ventures, 51% Chinese and 49% foreign. That means a Chinese company is collecting profits, but probably not contributing to R&D or even infrastructure.

    There is the basic instability of the Chinese economy, making it risky to do business there long term.

    There is the basic long term instability of the Chinese political system. The place could descend into civil war very quickly.

    There is the massive costs of bribes and gifts. When the factory was built, several CCC members got multi million dollar gifts.

    Finally there is the risk of tariffs and trade wars. The Chinese still have punishing tariffs on US goods and the US has chosen not to respond. However if Sanders or Trump land in the White house that situation will change.

    It won’t hurt GM to use their excess capacity in China, but it’s far to risky to transfer a lot of manufacturing.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    It seems EVERYONE complains about Volvo being made in China (S60L? I have yet to see one!)
    Yet here we are…with GM doing EXACTLY the same thing, on a possible big seller for Buick?!?
    What gives?
    Volvo primarily builds in Sweden and is thrown under the bus…while GM does it, and gets a hall pass?
    I don’t think so! To be honest, if this works out for GM, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many more GM vehicles assembled there. SHAME ON GM! They are an American Company shipping American jobs off to China!
    At least Volvo is already backed by Geely and has a plausable excuse. GM? Not so much!


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