Spotted: Buick-Branded Version Of Chevy Volt (For China)

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Something that seems to often be a bit of a surprise to some of those in the US is that the Buick brand is quite well regarded in China. As a result, GM often sells its vehicles under that brand in the Chinese market even if the model is sold under a different name here in the US.

This rebranding strategy is apparently going to be used with the new Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV), as we reported previously — with the second-gen Chevy Volt being rebranded as the Buick Velite in China.

While that sounded likely enough when we first reported on the subject, there was no explicit confirmation that the Volt would be making it to China under the Buick name. New pictures, though, from two different sources, seem to remove any doubt — China will definitely be a Buick-ized version of the Volt.

The first picture comes to us through a reddit user who spotted the Buick branded second-gen “Volt” — which seems to have visually changed somewhat, with the front end altered a fair bit from the looks of it, and the Buick badge added.

Notably this sighting seems to have been confirmed by images posted on Autohome, of what appears to be a production version of the Buick Velite.

While I understand rebranding the Chevy Volt as the Buick Velite (though “Velite” is a strange model name), I’m still confused as to why the Volt was marketed in Europe as the Opel “Ampera.” More importantly, I’m confused as to why the Chevy Bolt will be sold there as the “Opel Ampera-e” having already sold the very different Volt there as the “Ampera.” The models are quite different, and yet have nearly the exact same name. The Volt is even a plug-in hybrid whereas the Bolt is a fully electric car — and the body styles aren’t similar either.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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