We’ve laid out why the decision was made, and why it makes the most sense, but General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, has gone on the record with Yahoo Autos to help consumers understand the sense behind it.
The United Auto Workers have paraded around the “build where [GM] sells” quote, something Barra reiterates in the report. But, GM is doing just that. Buick expects to sell well over 200,000 Envisions in China. It’s forecast for the United States? Only 45,000 units.
“When you look at the significant number of Buicks that we sell in China, to what we sell in the U.S., this to me is about providing customers with an opportunity. The business case wouldn’t be there to tool up the vehicle in North America.”
“Our general philosophy is build where we sell, and that’s what we’re going to do, but there might be times where a vehicle is very successful somewhere else and we can leverage that capacity,” she added.
Combine this with the booming crossover market, and Buick dealers’ repeated calls for the crossover to grace U.S. lots, and it only makes sense to leverage the capacity Barra speaks of.
As for quality, she also underscored that the 2016 Buick Envision was completely engineered in Michigan alongside many other solid GM products. Quality and craftsmanship should not be a concern amid perceptions of poor quality from Chinese-built products.
As for continued backlash? Barra isn’t too concerned, even though a dicey 2016 Presidential campaign could easily draw this decision into its crosshairs.
“I don’t see it becoming a political issue, because once you know the facts it’s a very customer-focused decision.”