Like musicians, car brands of middling stature in their home markets sometimes become big stars in other regions, and such is the case with Buick in China. The Middle Kingdom is by far the largest market for Buicks in the world, apparently due to the fact that it was the favored brand of Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China (his personal Buick survived the Japanese occupation and World War II, to end up in the hands of Communist car guy Chou En-lai).
So the Chevrolet Volt has become a Buick in China, just as it previously became an Opel Ampera in Europe, a Vauxhall Ampera in the UK and a Holden Volt Down Under. Launched at the Shanghai auto show, the 2018 Buick Velite 5 is a second-generation Chevy Volt with a nose job and some new badging. (Buick has used the name Velite for two earlier concept cars.)
The new Buick’s electric range on the Chinese test cycle is estimated at 62 miles (the US EPA rating is 53 miles). According to Matt Tsien, President of GM China, it will be built locally, and is the first of 10 new hybrid and plug-in vehicles the company plans to launch in China by 2020.