A decade ago, during General Motors' bankruptcy, Buick's prominence in China helped save the brand from getting axed. Moving forward, Buick may need to lean more heavily on GM's China operations to help fill its domestic lineup.
Buick has long depended on GM's international affiliates for product: The current lineup includes crossovers developed by GM's China and South Korea divisions, and car models from the Opel operation in Europe, which GM sold in 2017.
But as that lineup gets shuffled as part of Buick's shift to crossovers, GM's restructuring and a long-range shift to electric cars, GM China is poised to play a bigger role.
That doesn't necessarily mean importing additional vehicles from China — as Buick does with the Envision compact crossover — so much as combining resources and making vehicles for both markets, executives said.