GM Set to Unveil EV Concept in China Despite US Trade Issues

Company straddling tough line due to tariff-based volatility.

by on Apr.09, 2018

GM is ready to unveil its first-ever fully electric SUV, the Enspire, in China later this month.

The United States and China might appear headed for a full-blown trade war that could rattle the global economy, but General Motors, one of the American companies that could get hurt in the crossfire is moving ahead with its aggressive plans for the Chinese market.

Last week, Buick, GM’s leading brand in China, announced that the Enspire, its new all-electric concept SUV, will make its global debut at Buick Brand Night April 17, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang.

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It will also be on display to the public at Auto China 2018 in Beijing, which begins later this month.

The unveiling of Enspire in China also underscores the growing split in GM’s corporate strategy, In China, GM has moved, albeit a bit grudgingly, to comply with the Chinese government mandates aimed at boosting the sale of electric vehicles in the U.S.

(Trump trade disputes put automakers in crosshairs. Click Here for the story.)

Meanwhile in the U.S. it is supporting the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back the 2022–25 fuel economy standards and increase the emissions of greenhouse gases and overturn the State of California’s legal authority to set its own standards on automotive emissions.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said last fall consumers in China will need government enticements to buy EVs in the numbers it wants.

At the same time GM, with its high-profile presence in China and the U.S., is attempting to ease tensions between the countries.

(Click Here to see more about GM’s sales numbers in China.)

“We support a positive trade relationship between the U.S. and China and urge both countries to continue to engage in constructive dialogue and pursue sustainable trade policies,” GM said in statement issued last week as the trade war rhetoric heated up.

“We continue to believe both countries value a vibrant auto industry and understand the interdependence between the world’s two largest automotive markets,” the statement added.

The Enspire uses GM’s global resources and is an exploration of design and new technologies. It is the brand’s latest example of innovation and application of future electric smart mobility, GM officials said.

(To see more about the Chinese government extending EV incentives, Click Here.)

GM also noted in North America and China. Buick has sold more than 9 million vehicles in China since its introduction by SAIC-GM in 1998.

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