At a press conference on Saturday at the Shanghai Motor Show, General Motors announced plans to further expand its presence in the Chinese market. Among those commitments are plans to build four new plants by the end of 2015, giving the automaker the capacity to produce around five million vehicles a year in the country.

In order to make the most of that expansion, GM is adding 400 dealerships in China this year alone (for a total of 4,200 sales points), and it's eyeing 5,100 dealers by 2015. Yet not all of that production will stay in China – GM is planning to increase exports as well. Officials estimate the company will export somewhere between 100,000 and 130,000 Chinese-built vehicles this year – a record. And it's gunning for more.

Autoblog asked GM China president Bob Socia (above) if that means the company might eventually export new vehicles built in China to the United States, and he responded:

"It could very well happen. It could very well happen. You know, I'm not sharing any plans with you, but we try to keep open as to what makes sense. And Tim [Lee – GM's president of international operations] is the right guy to talk about your manufacturing footprint. If it make sense to tool up a vehicle in one location as opposed to two, from an economic perspective, Tim will say that's what we should be doing. We're open to be doing that. There's no reason why we can't be exporting to the States, and obviously the States are exporting here."

Given that the Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center – GM and Chinese automaker SAIC's joint-venture vehicle engineering and design house – is expanding and increasingly calling the shots with Buick, the Tri-Shield brand is arguably the most likely way that Chinese-built vehicles could find their way to the US. GM has sold more Buicks in China than in the States for some time now, and PATAC has been responsible for a growing amount of work on the brand, from taking the lead on styling and engineering for the current LaCrosse to designing showcars like the just-revealed Riviera Concept shown below.

But are there such export plans in place at this time, we asked? "No."


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  • 136 Comments
      Mr Sled
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not cool. Buying American just doesn't mean American anymore. Camrys and Civics are made right here in Indiana. A Buick made in China for the USA is just not American. It's not even patriotic. It's pathetic.
      Neo
      • 1 Year Ago
      As one can easily see by this article, it's not the members of the government chasing manufacturing out of the US. It's the greed of the management that run these large companies doing so, and has always done so. Assembling cars over there allows these companies to make a lot more money due to the cheap slave like labor. Apple, Mircrosoft, and many more are both guilt of the same thing. What is shocking me is the hypocrisy involved in such decisions. They want to make it over there, but target the US to make their sales. It's a da-mn shame.
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Neo
        It will probably backfire on them. If they do it enough, folks will start to get riled up.
      4gasem
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you start doing that GM, I promise to NEVER buy another vehicle of yours for the rest of my life. Until they (China) treat their people the way people deserve to be treated and pay them an honest wage, i will try my darnedest to buy from another country when possible.
      Chris Burns
      • 1 Year Ago
      looks like Romney pointed fingers at the wrong brand
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do that all you want. But I will refrain from buying them all I want.
      JamieM
      • 1 Year Ago
      UGH, i don't mind expansion in China, but I will be very turned off if the cars on the lots in America are chinese.
      A.J.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've been a diehard GM supporter for years, but hear this, GM - the day you start producing US market vehicles in China is the day I stop buying your products.
        Basil Exposition
        • 1 Year Ago
        @A.J.
        I doubt you are alone in that. I am driving my first GM now, but if will be my last if they pull this BS.
      sirjaysmith
      • 1 Year Ago
      Then there goes their chance at me ever buying one of their products.
      Sergio Jerry Diaz
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM, never learn from their mistakes. Always out off touch with their customers.
      ashespaw
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have never bought a vehicle built outside of North America. (I bought a Ford F-150 made in Canada). I have purchased GM products in the past, but if they start importing from China, I will buy none of their products, made anywhere.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      No thanks.
      car-a-holic
      • 1 Year Ago
      NO THANK YOU
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