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Buick to roll out plug-in hybrids in China
Automotive News China | 2017/3/24

SHANGHAI -- General Motors plans to introduce plug-in hybrid versions of Buick models this year to meet tougher local fuel economy standards.

The plug-in hybrids will be fitted either with GM's 1.0-liter or 1.3-liter turbocharged engine and a nine-speed transmission, the company said.

The vehicles can drive for more than 100 km on their lithium ion battery packs alone. With on-board engines to recharge the batteries, their maximum range will be 700 km.

Last year, Buick introduced a conventional gasoline electric hybrid LaCrosse sedan. Now, other models are on the way.

China requires carmakers to cut their average fleet fuel consumption to 5.0 liters per 100 kilometers by 2020, down from 6.9 liters last year. In U.S. terms, that would equate to a fleet fuel economy goal of 47 mpg, up from 34 mpg.

GM said average fuel consumption of new Buick vehicles sold in China from 2014 to 2016 decreased by 20 percent. GM did not disclose its actual fleet fuel economy for the period.

To improve fuel efficiency, Buick also will introduce start-stop systems as standard equipment in China this year. GM also plans to equip more than 80 percent of the engines used in Buick models with turbochargers by 2018.

Buick cars are assembled at GM's joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp. 

China is Buick's largest market worldwide. In 2016, Buick's China sales rose 19 percent to more than 1.18 million vehicles.

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