It’s a follow-up to the Velite 5 extended-range electric sedan Buick launched in China last year, the brand’s biggest market.
However, unlike the Velite 5, which is really just a rebadged Chevrolet Volt, the Velite 6 is a standalone model that doesn’t resemble anything else in the General Motors fleet. The car is a compact hatch with seating for five.
Buick says the Velite 6 also offers new levels of connectivity for the brand. For example, owners can use their smartphone as the vehicle key, as well as authorize others to use the vehicle through a phone. The Velite 6 also introduces Buick’s new eConnect cloud connectivity system. With exclusive accounts, owners can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, and Internet use, and they can also interact with their cars via social media, in this case China’s WeChat. Owners can also directly receive information about their vehicle’s condition and recommended maintenance.
Buick will introduce the Velite 6 Plug-In Hybrid this year in China
China is witnessing a boom in sales of electrified cars, known locally as “new energy vehicles,” and Buick is keen to tap this. In addition to the Velite 5 and Velite 6, Buick also sells mild-hybrid versions of the Regal and LaCrosse there.
As mentioned above, China is the single biggest market for Buick, with local buyers having snapped up 1.18 million of the brand’s cars last year. It’s no surprise that Buick continues to expand its lineup there with models catering specifically to the market. In comparison, Buick made just 219,231 sales in the United States last year.