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Earlier this month, Shanghai GM gave us a glimpse of the production version of the Buick Envision concept revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show back in 2011. And now it's released the first unveiled shot and initial details of the crossover to slot in the considerable gap between the Encore and Enclave.

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Buick currently offers two crossovers: the compact Encore and the extra-large Enclave, leaving plenty of room to slot a mid-size crossover in between. And that's just what Buick is planning on doing. In China, anyway.

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Forbidden fruit always seems to taste a little sweeter, and what you see above is the fairly impressive interior of the new, Chinese-market version of the Chevrolet Cruze. As befitting a car with sleek, upgraded exterior styling, the interior is also reworked to be a better place to spend time. Drivers might be stuck in China's infamous traffic, but at least it looks comfortable inside.

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The Chinese market is an increasingly vital one for global automakers, including General Motors. The Detroit-based industrial giant claims to offer "the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China," including vehicles sold under the Buick, Cadillac, Opel, Baojun, Jiefang, Wuling and, of course, Chevrolet brands.

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Chevrolet may have just introduced a slight styling refresh and new tech for the North American Cruze at the New York Auto Show, but Shanghai GM, General Motor's Chinese joint venture partner, has gone a step further, unveiling an all-new generation of the popular compact at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show.

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First, we thought it was going to be called the Sail EV. Then we thought it'd be the Springo EV. Now we know that the first electric vehicle developed by Shanghai General Motors, the partnership between GM and SAIC, will officially be called the Sail Springo EV. So, that's settled.

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China's best-selling carmaker can now claim China's largest proving ground. General Motors, Shanghai GM, China JV partner SAIC and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) opened the $253 million facility in China that has more than 37 miles of roads, simulating 67 different driving conditions and nearly 250,000 square feet of engineering and repair space. It occupies a little more than two square miles in Guangde County, Anhui, about 130 miles from Shanghai.

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General Motors and its Chinese joint venture partner Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. (SAIC) signed an agreement calling for the two automakers to co-develop and manufacture electric vehicles in China, the world's largest automotive market.

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Buick Excelle GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2009 Buick Regal (China Spec) - click above for high-res image gallery

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One of the refrains we've all heard in recent years is how strong Buick is for General Motors in China, where it's not cursed with the stigma of being a grandparent's brand in the States. While most of yesterday's attention was rightly focused on the industry-wide year-end U.S. sales bloodbath, Shanghai Daily reports that 2008 was a bummer for GM's joint venture with SAIC in China.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 Buick Enclave.

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Click image to enlarge Shanghai GM today introduced the first mainstream hybrid in China's upper-medium vehicle segment: the Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid. The car is part of Shanghai GM's push to earn truly worthy green credentials -- the kind that surpass Chinese requirements and meet European standards.

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