General Motors is currently fighting to exempt the China-built Buick Envision from a 25 percent tariff enstated by the Trump administration. Now, the automaker said it could pull the luxury crossover from the U.S. market if its request is denied.
The latest comments on the Envision’s future come from GM President Dan Ammann. Speaking to reporters at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Detroit, Ammann said the tariff exemption is the “only way” to continue selling the Envision to U.S. customers.
“That’s a vehicle that is a relatively low volume vehicle in the U.S. market,” he said, according to Automotive News. “It’s a high-volume vehicle in China, so in order to have that vehicle available in the U.S. market, this is the only way that can work for us.”
Without the exemption, the Envision will likely exit the market. Buick sold 41,000 Envision crossovers in 2017 compared to 200,000 units yearly in the crossover’s home market of China. In its filing with the U.S. government, GM said the “vast majority” of Envisions are sold in China, which makes building the CUV locally the best option. The 41,000 units sold in the U.S. don’t justify a U.S. manufacturing plant, and the Envision’s exit would remove an essential product from the Buick brand: a mid-size luxury crossover.
Ammann added, “The profitability that we generate on that vehicle, selling it in the U.S. market, we obviously reinvest in the business here so we think it’s in everybody’s interest for that to continue.”
On tariffs, GM itself warned the Trump administration that continued effects could lead to a smaller GM with lower U.S. production and job losses at American manufacturing plants.