The Buick Envision is bearing much of the tri-shield brand's hopes for sales growth in the US market for this year.
Sales fell 2.6% last year in a market that grew 5.7% overall. The midsize crossover is being called the biggest entry by Buick since the Encore subcompact was introduced three years ago. If the vehicle's performance in China is any indication, the Envision should do quite well in the US.
The Buick Envision has been nothing short of an absolute success in China.
In 2014, 150,000 units were sold in China. Buick chief Duncan Aldred said that the Envision is "the most important vehicle in China in terms of volume and image."
As the Envision moves to the US, it will fill out the Buick lineup occupying the space between the smaller Encore and the larger Enclave. The midsize crossover segment grew nearly 13% last year, 2nd only to midsize sedans.
Given the popularity of the segment, Buick is counting on the Envision to be a volume seller with Aldred going so far as to say that the new crossover will be "segment leading."
That would have it outselling strong competitors like the Audi Q5 and the Acura RDX. Such a feat would see Envision sales surpassing 50,000 units a year, though IHS Automotive is predicting somewhere around 38,000 units in 2017 instead.
GM isn't sweating the Envision's dubious title of first US market vehicle imported from China, and they are likely right in not paying that much attention. As long as Mr. Trump does not turn it into a campaign issue, everything should be fine.