WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — For the first time ever, a U.S. automaker may build a car in China and sell it in America.
CNN reports General Motors may plan to start shipping the Buick Envision back to the U.S. by 2016. The small SUV is currently built in Shanghai and sold in China.
General Motors did not confirm nor deny the report to CNN.
“It is all speculation at this point,” Buick spokesman Nick Richards told CNN. “To this point we haven’t disclosed any plans for it outside of China.”
The speculation came from the analysis of ISH Automotive. CNN reports the company forecasts the U.S. automaker to be selling about 38,000 Envisions in the states by 2017. GM currently sells 126,000 Envisions annually in China.
“I think it’s much more needing the product in the U.S. market than having excess capacity in China,” ISH analyst Stephanie Brinley told CNN. “It’ll be a nice boost for Buick in a popular segment of the U.S. market.”
Brinley added that Americans will not view this as a Chinese vehicle.
“The Buick Encore is imported from South Korea. The Cascada will be coming from Europe. Most people don’t even know where the cars come from. I don’t even think this means U.S. consumer will be more inclined to accept a Chinese automaker,” she said.
The UAW told The Detroit News they will address the speculation during contract negotiations.
“After the sacrifices made by U.S. taxpayers and the U.S. workforce to make General Motors the profitable quality company it is today, UAW members are disappointed with the tone-deaf speculation that the Envision would be imported from China,” UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada told The Detroit News in a statement. “This product discussion is especially alarming in light of the current (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade language debate. GM should stand by its declaration that it will build where it sells.
“The Envision should be made in the U.S. by the workforce that saved GM in its darkest time and UAW members intend to address this issue in contract talks.”