The Buick Envision finds itself in a tough spot. General Motors has been exporting the model to the U.S. since 2016. But with the on-going trade-war between the U.S. and China, it means the Envision could smacked with a 25% percent tariff. That is why GM is asking for exemption on the model.
In a statement provided to Reuters, GM said that it filed the exemption request on July 30th to the U.S. Trade Representative. In the request, GM makes some sound arguments as to why the Envision should be excluded.
Price is major factor. If the vehicle is hit with a 25 percent tariff, GM would be forced to pull it from the U.S. unless it wants to a take serious loss on each model.
Why not build it here? The Envision has been a target of critics of Chinese-made goods, including leaders of UAW. GM explains that the sales volume of the Envision doesn't justify moving it to the U.S. Last year, Buick only sold 41,040 Envisions in the U.S. In China, Buick moved about 210,000 models. In addition, the current Envision is reaching the end of its current lifecycle before the company could make the preparations to build the model here.
GM also makes the argument that the loss of the Envision would put them in a distinct disadvantage against foreign competitors such as Acura and Volvo.
You can check out GM's request on regulations.gov website, which is tracking requests for exclusions from the Section 301 tariff.
If the Envision does get hit with a 25 percent tariff, GM has already taken some steps to relieve some of the pain. Before the higher import tariffs went into affect, GM shipped in a six-month supply of Envisions that would be hit with the much smaller 2.5 percent tariff. This should keep dealers happy in terms of stock and not having to deal with a higher price.