Americans Embrace a Made-in-China Buick SUV


Greg Shafer ended a lifelong streak of buyingU.S.-made cars when in August the 53-year-old drove out of a Columbus, Ohio,dealership behind the wheel of a Buick Envision.

Greg Shafer结束了这一生中始终购买美国造汽车的习惯,在今年八月份他53岁的时候,他开着一辆别克昂科威从俄亥俄州哥伦布市的经销商那驶出。


His $40,000 sport-utility vehicle is one of thefirst cars to be sold in America that was built in China. Mr. Shafer decidedits provenance wasn’t an issue because “once you drive it and experience allthe features, it feels far from a made-in-China car.”


As the U.S. auto industry’s rising reliance onMexican car factories becomes a hot topic in the 2016 presidential election,customers like Mr. Shafer are delivering a boost to General Motors Co.’smade-in-China strategy.


The No.1 U.S. auto maker in terms of salesstarted selling the Chinese-built Buick Envision in North American dealerships inlate spring, importing relatively small numbers of the vehicles to give a boostto the Buick brand. A few months into the experiment, dealers are clamoring formore because they say most of their customers don’t care where the vehicle ismade.


“There has been very little pushback,” said Chris Haydocy, co-ownerof the Haydocy Buick GMC in Columbus, where Mr. Shafer bought his SUV. “Mostpeople realize the world is flat now.”

“这很少有人拒绝”,Haydocy Buick GMC在哥伦布市的合伙人Chris Haydocy说,Shafer就是在他那买的车。“大部分人都认为现在的世界是扁平的”。

U.S. auto buyers routinely purchase carsimported from Asia, including South Korea and Japan, and much of the initialdisdain for those products has faded as imported nameplates become the norm.Ford Motor Co.’s plans to invest $1.6 billion in a new small-car plant inMexico has become a symbol of U.S. production jobs being exported in electiondebates. Mexico’s share of North American production has doubled to 20% in thepast decade, with most of the output slated for the U.S.


The made-in-China label is a new one for theU.S. auto industry and represents a hurdle due to quality concerns. Cars withbad fit-and-finish and outdated components have been displayed by indigenousChinese auto makers at U.S. auto shows for years, but have never been made availablefor sale here.



China’s growing reputation for making higher-endconsumer goods such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone has made the idea of Chinese-madecars more acceptable for U.S. buyers, saidMichael Dunne, a strategy andinvestment adviser at Dunne Automotive Ltd.

中国在高端消费品例如苹果手机方面增长的名声让美国消费者更容易接受中国制造汽车这一概念,Dunne汽车有限公司的战略和投资顾问Michael Dunne说。

GM’s decision to import the Envision, disclosedlate last year, riled factory workers at home. The United Auto Workers calledit a “slap in the face to U.S. taxpayers” that had financially supported GM inthe 2009 bailout of the auto industry.


GM said the strategy made sense because Buick,which is one of the largest-selling brands in China, had holes in its U.S.product lineup at a time when low gasoline prices had buyers clamoring for moreSUVs. With ample Envision capacity at a Shandong province factory, executivesdecided to carve out tens of thousands of units and send them to the U.S.


“This isthe advantage of having such a strong presence in the two biggest markets inthe world,” GM North America President Alan Batey said in an interview. “Wecouldn’t have done it [in the U.S.] if China hadn’t done that vehicle.”

“拥有世界最大的两个市场是非常有利的,”通用汽车北美总裁Alan Batey在采访中说道。“我们无法再美国这么做,如果没有在中国生产。”

Volvo Car Corp., owned by China’s Zhejiang GeelyHolding Group, last year began shipping small numbers of a version of its S60sedan to the U.S. from a plant in Chengdu.


In the U.S., Buick barely ranks among the top 20auto brands by sales volume. The brand is a stalwart in China, however, wheresales are quadruple Buick’s annual U.S. volume and more than double whatChevrolet sells in China.


The Envision is built by Shanghai GM, the automaker’s joint venture with SAICMotorCorp., but was designed and engineered by GM at a facility just outsideDetroit. Last week, the Envision earned the top safety rating from theInsurance Institute for Highway Safety.


The Envision quickly became one of Buick’s topsellers in China as buyers moved to SUVs from sedans and vans. GM sold about150,000 Envisions last year—its first full year on the market—and is on pace totop 200,000 this year, on par with Jeep Cherokee sales in the U.S. The brand isselling more than 1,500 Envisions a month in the U.S. as GM ramps up imports.


此文由 三泰虎 编辑,未经允许不得转载!:首页 > 美国 » 美国人拥抱中国制造的SUV