As Opel begins its retail roll out of the new Astra across Europe, some enterprising spy shooters have found the Opel’s Chinese-market twin wearing Buick tri-shields and Verano GS badging.And holy shit, this is about to get very, very confusing.According to Autohome, the Verano GS — marketed as Buick Weilang GS in China — is expected to be revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show with GM’s 169 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The same engine will be used in North America in the new Malibu, albeit with a six-speed automatic transmission.Now before you get too excited about those GS badges, it may not mean what you think it means, at least in this case.For starters, we need to explain Buick’s sub-Regal lineup in China.In North America, the Buick Verano is built on the same Delta II platform as the soon-to-be-departed Chevrolet Cruze and recently departed Opel/Vauxhall Astra J. In China, the … [Read more...] about What Does a Chinese Buick Verano GS Mean For North America?
As the saying goes, if you can’t sign a supply agreement with ’em, buy a part of ’em.That’s clearly not a saying, but that’s what Samsung Electronics Company just did with Chinese electric automaker BYD, handing over $440 million deal for a 1.9 percent stake in the company. According to Bloomberg, a Samsung subsidiary was turned down by China as an approved supplier of batteries to the automaker, so the electronics giant tried another door.When it announced its intention to buy a stake in BYD earlier this week, Samsung claimed it wanted a new market for its semiconductor technology. Connected, electric vehicles need a pile of chips to make the magic happen, and Samsung wants a slice of the growth market.BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is a big player in China’s emerging electric car market. When Samsung’s Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor was left off a list of approved foreign battery suppliers, it took … [Read more...] about Samsung Buys Stake in Chinese Automaker After Being Turned Down as a Supplier
Would you be furious if you invested millions to open a dealership, only for the manufacturer to supply just one vehicle with any sort of consistency? Of course you’d be.That’s the problem some Hyundai dealers in China are facing now, who are in the unique situation of competing with another set of Hyundai dealers in the country. That’s a tall order: the only vehicle Hyundai supplies to those dealers on a regular basis is the Veloster hatchback. Now Hyundai has a Little Problem in Big China in the form of a $135 million lawsuit.According to Reuters, two sales channels exist in China to sell Hyundai vehicles.One sales channel, which has its own dealer network, is supplied by a local joint venture between Hyundai and Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), called Beijing Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd. That channel sells Hyundais produced at its four plants in China, which the company plans to expand to six plants before the end of … [Read more...] about Furious Chinese Hyundai Dealers, With Only One Car to Sell, Suing Automaker for $135 Million
Google may be off pursuing autonomous commuter pods, but another Internet-related company in China as decided to take on Tesla directly in the EV game.Forbes reports Leshi Internet Information and Technology Co., a concern that makes Internet TVs and set-top boxes, will begin building electric vehicles under what chairman and president Jia Yueting calls the “Super Electric Eco-System.” Jia and his representative in Los Angeles, Luo Qimei, both said the results of the program — which has been in the works since the early days of 2014 — will best those of Tesla and other western companies.Leshi is entering the game amid weak demand for EVs in China, linked to a lack of sufficient infrastructure and local protectionism barriers. The Chinese government are attempting to build-up demand by providing tax breaks for consumers who buy from local automakers such as BYD, along with ordering government officials to use more EVs. That said, Leshi believes it will stand out … [Read more...] about Chinese Internet Company Sets Sights On Tesla In Chinese EV Market
It’s official: This is the Chinese-made Ford Edge Sport and Edge Limited.CarNewsChina reports the new crossover for the Chinese market will be leaving for the showroom from Changan-Ford factories beginning in May 2015, arriving just before the Everest SUV.Power for the seven-passenger Limited and five-passenger Sport will come from either a 2-liter turbo-four producing 252 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, or a larger 2.7-liter turbo V6 making 300 horses and 370 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will send their power through a six-speed automatic to all four corners, with the 2-liter offering FWD as standard.Price of admission begins at ¥280,000 ($45,000 USD), topping off at ¥450,000 ($72,400). The Limited will be limited to China for the near-term. … [Read more...] about Changan-Ford Introduces New Edge For Chinese Market
General Motors announced Thursday it will import a Buick crossover from China to the United States by the end of 2016, much to the UAW’s disappointment.According to the Detroit Free Press, the crossover in question, the Envision, is currently produced at a facility in the Shandong province. The Buick brand itself is doing well for itself in China, where it’s GM’s best-known brand, and in the U.S., where the brand is experiencing rapid growth as of late. In both instances, the main draw for Buick is its small and medium crossovers and SUVs.GM’s move to bring the Envision over from China has at least one UAW leader in a tizzy.GM department vice president Cindy Estrada stated in August the “tone-deaf speculation” regarding the crossover’s arrival left union members disappointed in light of the “sacrifices made by U.S. taxpayers and the U.S. workforce” to help the automaker rise back to the top. UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg says the … [Read more...] about General Motors to Import Chinese-Made Buick to U.S. By Late 2016
Buick announced Friday that it will bring from China the Buick Envision to sell in the U.S. next summer, two years after that car was introduced overseas, and that it will be the first Chinese-made car from a domestic manufacturer.Automotive News reported that the small crossover would go on sale sometime around August, earlier than expected from initial reports last month.When it goes on sale, the Envision will be powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four that makes 252 horsepower and will only be offered in all-wheel drive to start. The model will be bookended by the subcompact-sized Encore and full-size Enclave and fill a substantial need for the premium automaker. The Envision is constructed on General Motors’ replacement for its Theta platform that will eventually underpin the new Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.The new crossover will likely start near $35,000 to fill the void between the Encore, which starts at around $25,000, and the Enclave, which starts … [Read more...] about We’ll Get The Chinese-made 2016 Buick Envision Sooner Than We Expected
Long-time TTAC readers may be familiar with my old friend Rodney, the Billy Dee Williams lookalike with whom I sold cars, raced bicycles, rode motorcycles, and generally raised some sort of mild hell from 1995 until the present day. (If you’re not, here’s a field guide to his eccentric accomplishments.)Over the course of the past week, Rodney’s had two life-changing things happen. The first was that he got his driver’s license back from the rural Ohio court which has held it hostage against a fairly large sum of fines and penalties since 2010. The story of how he lost his license involves everything from a Nissan Stanza jumping train tracks at 60 mph to the “black bull and white cuck” scene, and it’s a story I’ll tell once all the statutes of limitations expire.The second is that Rodney’s mother, who is in her late sixties, was just conned into leasing a Buick Encore.“And that is how,” Rodney seethed to me as he and my … [Read more...] about When It Comes To Chinese Buicks, I’m Not Ready To “Deal With It”
They say impersonation is the greatest form of flattery, but that flattery has some serious financial consequences in the world of aftermarket parts.Ohio-based Fidanza Performance, a supplier of aftermarket clutches, flywheels, and other parts, is the latest victim of Chinese knockoff artists selling “Fidanza-like” products on eBay and through unauthorized retailers.Needless to say, Fidanza president Jeff Jenkins isn’t thrilled by the mimicry.In a newsletter to customers, Fidanza Performance stated it “recently discovered several unauthorized parties offering Fidanza products. Fidanza is working with attorneys in the United States and abroad to address these unauthorized sales so that our customers can continue to rely on the quality and craftsmanship that you expect from a Fidanza product.”According to Mr. Jenkins, the company is aware of “two Chinese companies in particular … selling lightweight aluminum flywheels” for … [Read more...] about Fidanza Latest Supplier Warning Consumers of Chinese Counterfeit Parts
With the return of two storied nameplates like the Ford GT and Acura NSX, it’s easy to understand why the only Chinese automaker with a display at the North American International Auto Show last month in Detroit, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., didn’t get much attention. For the past decade or so, a number of Chinese car companies have had displays and press conferences at the media previews to the Detroit show, some of them with plans to export cars to North America, but so far little or nothing of substance has come to fruition from those plans. Whether or not they end up selling Chinese cars here, it does make a little bit of sense to take advantage of the presence at the NAIAS of thousands of members of the international press. That’s probably why GAC used the 2015 NAIAS to have the world premiere of their GS4 compact SUV. In addition to the GS4, which appears to be more of a car based crossover than a serious SUV, GAC also showed their GA6 sedan (which they … [Read more...] about How Do You Say “New Car Smell” (or “Offgassing”) in Chinese?