Longtime observers of China’s vehicle market remember back to 1995, when General Motors beat out Ford to enter China with a billion dollar deal to build Buicks. Hefty guffaws were heard within cynical media circles. Who among China’s billion people could afford to buy a car at all, and if they could, why would they want a Buick sedan? GM’s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), one of China’s most powerful automotive groups, called for production of Buick’s next-generation ...

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