Buick’s turbocharged, Chinese-made Envision crossover is landing on American shores in early summer, but the price could cause some buyers to rethink their purchase date.
Holding the title of being the first U.S. model manufactured in China, the Envision is already a two-year veteran of the overseas market. Americans are notoriously SUV-thirsty, so it was inevitable that the Envision would make its way here, loaded with a high level of standard equipment.
The starting MSRP for the 2016 Envision is $42,995 (all charges included), a figure that tops the range-leading Enclave, which starts at $39,065 (minus freight, destination and fees).
When Autoblog was invited to one of those hurried and harried press conferences at the Shanghai Auto Show, and asked GM China president Bob Socia about car exports from China to America, they were told:
“It could very well happen. It could very well happen. You know, I’m not sharing any plans with you, but we try to keep open as to what makes sense … We’re open to be doing that. There’s no reason why we can’t be exporting to the States.”
We gave the matter short shrift. We know China-made Honda Fits are in Canada and elsewhere without giving people fits. Also, we have been following GM China’s export activities for many years. GM started exporting the Sail from China in 2010, making it “the first time a world-class automaker will export from China a model it developed in the country,” as the Nikkei said. Actually, it was GM that got China’s heretofore sputtering auto export machine going.
For some folks, like Chris Butler at the Franklin Center’s Watchdog site for Tennessee, GM’s exports from China were new. Butler called GM and asked whether China will become an export base for the General: He reached spokesman Greg Martin, who said:
“There will be no exports of these cars built in China. Cars that are built in China are sold in China.”
And yet again, the reports of Chinese cars flooding worldwide markets have been greatly exaggerated. The reverse is true: Chinese car exports are a disaster. China’s already anemic auto exports dropped 46 percent in 2009. That according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) data reported in China Daily.