As it stands, automobiles exported from China and imported to the United States face a hefty 25-percent tariff as both countries engage in trade war practices. General Motors is one of many automakers that potentially will feel the effects of said practices with its China-built Buick Envision crossover.
But, the automaker has officially petitioned to exclude the Envision from the tariff. Reuters reported Thursday that GM had filed an exemption for the Envision on July 30 to keep the luxury crossover out of the trade war’s crosshairs. The Envision is one of many goods companies have filed to exclude from tariffs.
GM argued building the Envision in its home market is not an option.
“Assembly in our home market is not an option” for the Envision, the petition reads in part. GM cited sales figures in China, where the model sells 200,000 units yearly, compared to U.S. sales of 41,000 in 2017. GM added the “vast majority” of Envisions are sold in China, which makes building the CUV locally the best option.
The automaker has already prepared for a scenario where the Envision is not excluded. GM reportedly imported a six-month supply of Envisions to the U.S. from China last month, which should keep dealers stocked through the end of 2018. It also allowed GM to pay the 2.5-percent tariff as the vehicles entered the U.S.
Ahead of the tariffs, Buick announced the 2019 Envision would cost $2,500 less than the previous model year to better rival other brands. Should GM choose to pass along the added cost of tariffs, the crossover’s price could rise as much as $8,000.
According to sources familiar with GM’s plans, the automaker will not move Envision production to North America or any factory outside of China.