Buick VP Says Electric Is A Perfect Fit For The Brand
In GM’s plan to roll out at least 20 new EVs over the next five years, and two in the next 18 months, the Chevrolet Bolt-based Buick CUV is likely at the top of the list.
Well before GM came out with the recent announcement, CEO Mary Barra made it clear that the Bolt will serve as a platform for a whole range of electric vehicles. We received information from a reputable source that the Buick crossover is likely next to arrive.
Now, WardsAuto and partner AutoForecast Solutions believe a Buick Encore-like EV will arrive in 2019. Quelle surprise!
Buick is a perfect fit for GM’s next electric vehicle. Wards explained:
“Buick is GM’s second-best-selling brand globally and the No. 4 brand overall in China, where government regulations in the world’s largest market will demand 10% of an automaker’s sales by 2019 carry a New-Energy Vehicle score linked to the production of zero-emissions and low-emissions vehicles. It rises to 12% in 2020, while Beijing continues to formulate a timetable for phasing out the internal-combustion engine in the future.”
Global is key, especially now, as many European countries are speaking to bans on ICE vehicles in the not-too-far future. China is the world’s largest automotive market, has enormous potential for EVs, and is also considering the idea of completely eliminating ICE cars. Buick-GMC vice-president of sales and marketing, Duncan Aldred told Wards:
“Buick will play a huge part.
We will have multiple entries in a fairly short period of time. We’re GM’s biggest brand in the world’s biggest market. You’ll see a number of different technologies to go toward (our) zero-emissions objective.
A lot of the electrification adoption will be driven by legislation.
There’s a race already in China, because they are putting out some very strict (emissions) criteria for manufacturers to meet.”
Interestingly, Barra just spoke to precisely the same topic at a recent conference.
Earlier this year, GM began selling the Buick Velite5 in China. It’s an extended-range EV with about 72 miles of electric range (on China’s more optimistic testing cycle) and an ICE engine backup. It’s much like the fancier cousin to the Chevrolet Volt (because underneath it all, it is the 53 mile (EPA) extended range Chevy).
Due to the fact that the brand is so successful in China, and many Americans still favor ICE cars (not to mention politicians are currently unwilling to support the cause), Buick will move more aggressively into China at first. Aldred shared:
“Because we are so successful in China, it gives scale and leverage in North America. We will have multiple (electrified) entries in China over the next few years. When, and if, the market develops here we will be in good shape.”
Unfortunately, Aldred was unwilling to go into detail about Buick’s immediate plans for our shores (we suppose we will just have to act ‘surprised’ this January in Detroit). He did say that the vehicles will still carry Buick’s reputation for luxury. Buick is known for upscale interiors, long standard equipment lists, lots of extras, and ultra-quiet cabins.
“The battery technology we are developing now, as well as the next generation, is impressive to the point where there won’t be any sacrifices.
You talk about quiet tuning, nothing is better than electric. The sense of well-being in the cabin, the serenity, is delivered ultimately by pure electric. It fit that brand exceptionally well.”