When no one was looking, Buick's China lineup grew in numbers and more varied than in its home country. The brand has not experienced a visible slowdown in sales or popularity in The Middle Kingdom since its reintroduction there in the late 1990s.
Buick's popularity in China has greatly benefited GM while baffling other automakers like Volkswagen, which have been in China since the early 1980s. The brand even enjoys greater popularity than stablemate Cadillac which has found only limited success.
Buick's latest addition to its lineup in China is the Envision, a midsize crossover positioned just above the Encore. An Autoweek reader, Thomas Mitchell, recently spotted one on a freeway in Detroit, and was kind enough to share the photo. Could this point to a possibility that the Envision will be the first Chinese-made Buick to be offered in the States?
So far, Buick plans to introduce the Envision in Europe badged as an Opel and a Vauxhall, as well as a Holden in Australia, and has floated the possibility of bringing the new crossover to the U.S. in 2016.
The surprise success of the Encore in the States has made the company take a closer look at its lineup in this segment, and a crossover positioned between the Encore and the Enclave may be just what North American buyers could use.