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4,400 Buick Velite 5 Units were Produced for China Before Cancellation

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Buick Velite 5
The Buick Velite 5 was quickly surpassed in China by more efficient GM vehicles
Photo: General Motors

Buick is currently General Motors’ top-selling American brand in the Chinese market. This success has allowed General Motors to expand the luxury brand’s reach in the country, producing SUVs and ever-popular sedans for Chinese drivers. Even vehicles that are no longer produced saw moderate to high success in the market. One of these was the Buick Velite 5, which managed to sell just under 4,400 units before production ended last summer.


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A look at the Buick Velite 5

In the summer of 2019, General Motors announced that it would officially end production of the Buick Velite 5. This electric sedan was a Chinese-market exclusive, and was first shown off at Auto Shanghai in the spring of 2017. The Velite 5 experienced moderate success, but ultimately had little time to shine. According to a recent post on the Speak EV electric car forum, General Motors’ Chinese partner, SAIC-GM-Wuling, produced under 4,400 examples before its cancelation.

After only two years on the market, the Velite 5 was already becoming obsolete. In addition to being little more than a Chevrolet Volt EV with a Buick badge, the Velite 5 was soon upstaged by its successor, the Velite 6. Last fall saw the introduction of the Velite 6 Plus, which improved on the Velite 5’s battery life and mileage. While the Velite 5’s 35-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack provided a driving range of up to 188 miles, the Velite 6 Plus’ 52.5-kilowatt battery provides 254 miles.


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While the Buick Velite 5 may be no more, China is still far from devoid of electric vehicles. The country recently extended its New Energy Vehicle Credit program, making drivers who purchase an electric vehicle with over 250 miles of range eligible for a $3,500 tax credit. With incentives like that, Chinese drivers are sure to keep the electric-vehicle renaissance alive and well into the future.