Will the second-generation Chevy Volt be rebranded as the Buick Velite when it goes on sale in the Chinese market? Rumors are going around that that’s exactly what’s going to happen, but nothing solid has emerged yet.
For those scratching their heads right now, Buick is actually a very popular brand in China. There are far more Buicks sold in China than in the US, and there a number of models that Buick only sells in China.
Green Car Reports, where we ran across the story, writes: “The Buick Velite name was first used on a concept car that debuted at the 2004 New York Auto Show. That car — a convertible with a powertrain consisting of a 3.6-liter V-6 and 6-speed automatic transmission — was pretty far removed from a plug-in hybrid hatchback.”
A spokesperson for GM, Elizabeth Winter, responded to requests for comment from Green Car Reports by stating: “Over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 New Energy Vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids, extended-range electrics, and more. We are not announcing anything further at this time.”
A bit ambiguous, but certainly not a contradiction of the rumors.
The Volt is an attractive and appealing car on many fronts, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see GM introduce it to China as well, using a brand that is more popular there (like it is doing via Opel/Vauxhall in Europe).