Are you in the market for a Buick Envista? Maybe you’ve already searched for a Buick Envista dealer and have started to wonder where the Buick Envista is being built. While Buick is the oldest American automotive manufacturer, it is an increasingly international brand with factories and dealerships worldwide. The new Envista is the latest product in Buick’s new generation of global models and was originally designed for the Chinese market, although the models sold in America all come from Buick’s Changwon factory in South Korea. However, while this affordable new subcompact SUV may be produced overseas, it still displays Buick’s dedication to giving its consumers high-quality vehicles that are imbued with luxury. In fact, it’s not the only model in the Buick lineup that is produced overseas.
A Long Legacy of Quality Craftsmanship
Buick is a division of GM, a multinational American automotive manufacturing company with its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Originally founded by David Dunbar Buick and his engineer, Walter L Marr, in 1899, Buick is more closely associated with American entrepreneur William C Durant. In 1904, Durant took a controlling interest in the failing automotive company and moved production to a new factory in Flint, Michigan. Under his guidance, Buick swiftly became the top automotive manufacturer in America and formed the foundation for the GM automotive empire.
As one of the many GM brands, Buick was positioned to provide attainable luxury, sitting just below Cadillac in the brand hierarchy. Although many of GM’s historic brands have been discontinued in recent years, Buick still has a loyal customer base around the world, particularly in China, where it was once the brand of choice of the Chinese Emperor. The Buick brand emphasizes reliability and refinement, and the new Envista continues that legacy.
The Buick Envista: A Classy Subcompact SUV
Chic and upscale, the 2024 Buick Envista is a subcompact SUV that has been making a splash in the automotive industry. Along with Buick’s typical focus on comfort and stylishness, the Envista brings a high degree of utility and adaptability that SUV buyers expect and appreciate. This includes 42 cu.ft. of cargo space in the back and an impressive fuel economy rating of 30 MPG. Buick also didn’t skimp on technology, with the new model coming standard with an eight-inch digital driver information center and an 11-inch infotainment display. However, the best part of all is that the Envista brings new meaning to Buick’s commitment to affordable luxury with an incredibly low starting price of just $22,400. That low price is partially because of Buick’s focus on emerging markets where expensive vehicles are out of reach for most drivers.
A New Platform for Affordable Vehicles
While the 2024 Envista may be an all-new model, it shares its bones with some popular GM vehicles that are already on the road. Underpinning this new SUV is the GM VSS-F platform, which is shared with the Buick Encore GX, Chevy Trailblazer, and Chevy Trax. There are even more VSS-F models designed for overseas markets that you will not find at dealerships here in America, such as the Buick Verano. By building so many vehicles on the same platform, GM can reduce costs and improve the efficiency of its factories, making its vehicles more affordable to buyers.
Rather than produce these vehicles at several factories all over the world and lose the efficiencies made possible by the shared platform, GM has concentrated production at two locations: the GM-SAIC Shenyang plant in China and the GM Changwon plant in South Korea. The Chinese plant focuses on producing vehicles for the Chinese market, which is currently the largest market for the Buick brand, while the Korean plant exports vehicles around the world, including to America.
Why Changwon, South Korea?
An American brand like Buick building a vehicle like the Envista in South Korea may seem odd, but GM has quite a long history in the Asian nation. In fact, GM got its start in South Korea back in 1971, when it partnered with Shinjin Automobile Industry, a local Korean company that had previously licensed-produced vehicles for Toyota. That original partnership lasted for over two decades before Shinjin was bought out by the Korean conglomerate Daewoo in 1992. However, when Daewoo went bankrupt in 2001, GM stepped in to form GM Daewoo, which was renamed GM Korea in 2011.
The largest factory operated by GM Korea is its facility in Changwon, on the southern coast of the Korean peninsula. It was originally opened under Daewoo, but GM realized that its close proximity to Busan, one of the largest ports in the world, would allow vehicles produced in Changwon to be easily exported to other nations. The first attempt to export Korean vehicles was the Chevy Spark, which was originally known as the Daewoo Matiz. After finding considerable success in Europe and South America, GM brought the Spark to America in 2012 and quickly followed it with the Korean-built Buick Encore in 2013.
GM has invested heavily in developing and expanding its Korean operations, spending over $7 billion since 2018. This large investment included several upgrades to prepare the Changwon plant for mass production of the new VSS-F models, including the Envista and Encore GX. The plant even received a solar array of nearly 10,000 cells that will help it generate 3.7 TWh of electricity every year. Today, the Changwon plant sprawls across 7.9 million square feet and is capable of producing 250,000 vehicles annually while maintaining the high standards of the Buick brand.
Manufacturing the Buick Envista
The Buick Envista’s manufacturing process is one that carefully blends technological innovations and human craftsmanship. Every single Envista model that rolls off the assembly line, therefore, meets Buick’s rigorous standards for excellence. The Envista’s body is assembled first. Precision robotics are employed alongside highly skilled human technicians working in the Changwon plant. Together, they meticulously work to meet Buick’s exact design specifications.
Next, the Envista is given a gorgeous paint job with finely finished exterior touches, all of which come from an ultramodern 860,000-square-foot paint shop that GM added to the Changwon plant in 2021. A resilient and immaculate finish that brings the Envista’s aesthetics to life results from the plant’s advanced painting techniques. After that, each model is put onto the assembly line, where all its components are carefully installed to form a complete, well-rounded vehicle. From everything under the hood to the cabin’s smallest details, skilled assembly techs work hard to ensure each model is a masterclass in automotive craftsmanship.
Buicks are thoroughly inspected for quality, even while they are still being manufactured. Stringent testing and inspections are carried out to check for potential issues; if any are found, they get ironed out. This guarantees that each model is built to last. A final inspection gets carried out before every model departs from the factory. After the final inspection is passed, it is prepped for shipping across the Pacific Ocean, going out to Buick dealerships all across the United States. These vehicles are prepared to meet their buyers and show them what it means to be a stellar crossover SUV.
Why Buy From a Buick Envista Dealer?
While the Buick Envista may be the result of a global design and manufacturing network, buying this affordable new luxury SUV means that you are joining a long legacy of automotive excellence that has its heart right here in America. Generations have enjoyed buying Buicks and driving them for many years. When you visit your local Buick dealer, let them know you’d like to embark on a journey into innovation and craftsmanship with the all-new, much-anticipated 2024 Envista. You can even tell your friends that you drive an imported luxury car.