GM’s Cadillac will import plug-in SUV from China – USA TODAY
General Motors will begin importing a second model from China, the plug-in hybrid version of the Cadillac CT6 after the gasoline engine CT6 goes on sale later this year.
The gasoline engine CT6 goes into production next month at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, where workers assemble the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in electric car, the Chevrolet Impala, the 2017 Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac ELR.
On Sunday, Buick unveiled its Envision midsize crossover, which will go on sale in the U.S. this summer. Workers at one of GM’s joint venture factories in Yantai, China, produce the Envision.
Despite protests from the United Auto Workers union in Detroit, Envision is being imported because it’s been sold in China for more than a year and it fills an important gap in Buick’s lineup. The CT6 for the Chinese market is assembled at a newer plant in Pudong Jinqiao, near Shanghai.
“We expect the plug-in hybrid to be a very significant portion of the car’s consumer appeal in China,” Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said in an e-mail, adding that about 90% of the plug-in sales are expected to be in China.
Cadillac expects to export a small quantity of CT6 plug-ins to other markets from China, Caldwell said. Most of the redesigned full-size sedan models sold in the U.S. will be powered by either a 3.6-liter V-6 engine or a 3-liter turbocharged V-6.
While there are similarities between the plug-in version of CT6 and the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR, their powertrains are different.
Unlike the Volt, the CT6 plug-in hybrid will switch on its engine under higher loads. It is expected to have a battery-only range of about 30 miles, although that number has yet to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sales of all hybrids fell in the U.S. last year as lower gas prices made them economically less attractive. Cadillac sold only 1,024 ELRs, 22% fewer than in 2014, while sales of the first-generation Volt slipped 18% to 15,393.