[ad#post_ad]Not officially yet of course, but thanks to some forced disclosures to protect their intellectual property in China (under a antiquated, nationalistic 'we are a island' patent process), some sketches have surfaced showing that the Michigan made Chevrolet Volt, which was given a facelift and then rebranded as a  Ampera for Europe will be rebadged again on its way to China...likely to be born again as a Buick.

It is most likely a Buick because that brand has a lot of cachet in China, and is the flagship of General Motors in that country (despite Cadillac being present in the country since 2004).  The only other real choice would be for it to launch as a Chevrolet; but it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have the Chevy logo stuck on the Ampera skin that was meant to distance itself from the look of the Volt in the first place.

It is also unlikely that it will be continued to be marketed as a Opel in China, because Opel has no weight in that market whatsoever, illustrated by that fact that cars such as the Astra and Insignia (which are built in China) are both branded Buicks in China (Excelle and Regal).  GM has recently considered expanding Opel's role in China, but as of now the score in China for auto sales (at least in 2009 )was Buick 447,000 - Opel 3,000.

Additionally, considering the price point will likely exceed $50,000 USD by the time the American made car lands in showrooms in China, it pretty much has to be a Buick.

According to sources, and despite very limited initial production plans (up to 8,000 vehicles in 2011), the Buick (insert name here) will go on sale in China in the first half of 2011.Couple that with plans to launch the Chevy Volt in Canada in mid-2011, the Vauxhell Ampera in the UK and the Opel Ampera in the rest of Europe in late 2011, the Holden Volt in Australia in early 2012, and that is a very full dance card indeed.

Which begs the question.  Only 5 brands for the Volt GM?  I look forward to 'new' Voltec offerings from Wuling and Daewoo any day now.  /very 'old' GM

Sidenote:  Everyone's favorite GM exec, Susan Docherty, has just resurfaced (again) as vice president in charge of sales and marketing in China (and the many other regions inside GMIO...which account for about half of all of GM's sales), so perhaps a new 'Volt dance' will resurface at the 2011 Beijing auto show in April.

Source ( TheTycho.com )


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