By on November 11, 2009

The American version of a Chinese rebadge of a German sedan to be built in Canada will be available at your local Buick dealer starting in the second quarter of next year. According to GM’s presser, the new Regal will initially be offered with the direct-injected 2.4 Ecotec, making 182 hp. Which, you gotta say, doesn’t sound like luxury-level motivation for a 3,600 lb car. A 2.0 turbocharged version with 220 horsepower will be offered later next summer. There will be no manual transmission option (both get 6-speed autos), and in a weird turn towards the Acura side of life, only one trim level (CXL) will be available. Accordingly, the 2009 Acura TSX and Volvo S60 are shown as competitors, although the 2.4l Buick comes up short of both in standard horsepower and rear headroom. In the real world though, GM picked some pretty safe competition: the S60 sold under 9,000 units in 2008 while the TSX sold just under 32,000 units. The Regal competition that Buick should really be worried about is its slightly-larger, more-optionable Epsilon II platform-mate, the LaCrosse.

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58 Comments on “Buick Regal Announced...”


  • avatar
    Ion

    And it’s being built in Germany for atleast the first MY
     
    another soon to be  failure from GM just like the G8 and the Astra

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      …but with completely different drivetrains than Euro-market Insignias. There is no 2.4 or 2.0 DI turbo in European Insignias.
      Needless complexity increase in they want a cheap rebadge.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s back to the future at Buick! 4 cylinder Buicks like the 80′s, rebadged Opels like the 70′s. And turbos. Is a GNX far behind?

    The TSX is the right comparo: smaller than and with no V6 like its down market platform mate, yet more expensive.

    Either the new GM really is moving faster – going from rebadging the Insignia as a Saturn to rebadging it as a Buick in less than a year, or they were planning something really awful like doing both…

  • avatar

    If you are trying to say it will fail the same way the G8 and Astra did, then you may be on to something. I will be the first in the cheering section when Buick sells only 15,000 of these sedans next year.

    I am still trying to figure out who buys Buicks in North America. The entire Buick division cannot even equal the Toyota Camry’s annual sales.

    What is the point? Just die and go away Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02


      2008 Camry Sales
      436,617
      2008 Buick Sales
      154,275
      Yeah, it isn’t even close.  I guess Lexus should die too.
      2008 Lexus Total Sales

      260,087
       
      It doesn’t matter if GM only sells 15000 of them a year.  They just have to a profitable in doing so.  That is the only thing that matters.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    If the car is priced substantially less than the LaCrosse like the base price difference between a Fusion and a Taurus it puts Buick in a market segment they’re not currently in. It’s GM competition would be the Malibu now that the G6 and Saturn models are gone. It seems that once again GM doesn’t know what they want Buick to be, a near luxury brand or a full line brand. Since the Buick brand is largely irrelevant anyway it’s like who cares?

  • avatar
    210delray

    I agree; this car makes no sense.   Isn’t that what Chevy is for — you can buy a 4-cylinder Malibu!  GM still can’t get its branding right.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Pointless and irrelevant, but not terrible looking.
    I’ve asked this before:  Who is the target market for this car?  I can’t think of a single demographic group that would want this car over something else.
    -ted

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    I like the exterior and interior of this car, but if GM is doing a 4 banger, it needs to be Honda creamy coupled with a 6 speed transmission standard.
     

  • avatar

    If you are a Buick dealer selling two or three cars a week any new model would probably be welcome.

    It just occurred to me that I have not seen a stand alone Buick dealer in over a decade.

    I am afraid they are seriously screwed.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Perfect couple’s rental car? Superficially luxurious, good MPGs with the 4-cyl, and decent highway ride from the German design? I’d rent one (once)…

  • avatar

    I just did some research on the web, and found out that by the end of 2008 there were only 85 stand-alone Buick dealers in America. Apparently, Buick was surviving by merging their dealerships with Pontiac. With Pontiac headed to the scrap heap, GM now wants Buick dealers to merge with GMC. I just don’t see this working at all. My prediction is that Buick’s future is exclusively in China. I have no idea why GM cancels Pontiac when it sales are nearly double that of Buick in North America. I guess GM considers it’s Chinese sales of Buick more important than Pontiac’s survival.

    • 0 avatar
      Geotpf

      Many dealers sell Pontiac, Buick and GMC.  GM tried to make the three brands one dealer “channel”.  My local dealer is actually a Pontiac/Buick/GMC/Cadillac dealer.

      Since PBG are all combined in most areas, it really doesn’t make sense to just eliminate Pontiac, but then again, since when did GM do anything that made sense?

  • avatar

    I will never buy anything short of a V6 engine with a minimum of 200 HP.

  • avatar
    tpandw

    Like others, I don’t get Buick at all.  They’re apparently determined to jettison their only current market–people over 70 who bought Lucernes only because Park Avenues are no longer available.  (My 78 year old neighbor who has a new Lucerne said exactly that.)  Why GM euthanized Pontiac, which had substantially higher sales than Buick, and kept this geezer-mobile, is beyond me.  It’s only one of numerous questions that come up about the direction (or lack thereof) of the world’s formerly largest auto maker.
     
     

  • avatar
    Oregon Sage

    Akear, There is a standalone family run Buick dealer in Springfield, OR competing with a multi-line GM dealer (Pontiac-GMC- Buick) a few miles away in Eugene.

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    So is this where GM is heading, installing four bangers in all their cars? I don’t care if the thing has five turbos and 400 horsepower, it’s still a four cylinder engine. You can’t completely mask that fact with forced induction, variable valve timing and all the other technololgy tricks designed to wring horses and torques out of half the cylinders. And how are the durability outlooks on these small engines pushing large cars all their lives?
    I suppose I’m Living In The Past when it comes to this issue but geez, for the kind of money Fritz and Bob will want for these cars you’d think they’d give you a little more under the hood. Or at least give you the choice of parting with even more of your money for a larger engine if you want.

  • avatar
    thalter

    Actually for 2010, the TSX is available with a 280HP 3.5L V6, in addition to the standard 4 banger.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Regarding four cylinders: get used to them, thanks to tightening EPA/CAFE regs. And 182 hp doesn’t exactly take us back to the days of 82hp fours in the early eighties. It’s more than what typical V6s put out just some 10 to 15 years ago.

  • avatar

    Springfield Buick, a living time capsule: http://www.springfieldbuick.com/
    And how did that survive the GM dealer cull?
    With that showroom and those ’60s Buicks sitting out in front, they obviously had immunity. but what are those funny bubble-looking things in the picture above that?

  • avatar
    dougjp

    3,600 lbs. is not acceptable.
    Next up?
     

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    There are times when I feel like GM might just make a success of things. The Enclave, LaCrosse, CTS, Malibu, and Equinox have all been credible introductions.   And then they blow it with a cynical re-badge like this.  Who do they think they’re fooling?
    Maybe if they had waited until next summer when the turbo is available, but as I recall, all the reviews of the LaCrosse with the 3.0 called it underpowered, so I can’t see how a 2.4 fixes that.  This is just lame.

  • avatar
    manny

    Here in sunny Miami, the bluehairs dumped Buick and Cadillac, they go for Lexus and Avalons now.  Used to be anytime you’d see a big Caddy or Buick landyacht coming your way you either stepped on the gas or jump unto the sidewalk, as it would whizz by, you could barely see the top of the driver’s head, it would usually be colored grayish-blue. I don’t know if they’ll be too keen on this new Buick.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Mark my words, the 3.6L SIDI will be available in this car, just not at initial launch.  It will make about 280hp.
    And, there is nothing wrong with 4cyl engines in cars.  They are coming.  They will be here for awhile.  Acura and Audi both of 4cyl engines.  There is really nothing wrong with this.  In fact, with new EPA standards, this will be coming to more manufactures.
    The Audi A6 weights 3800 lbs.  The ES350 weights 3580lbs.  All cars are too heavy today.
    And why do people think there is a market for these cars?  The LaCrosse is selling well.  For October, 3228 copies were sold.  Unfortunately, I can’t say how many were 2010 models and how many were 2009.  But, in 2008, only 1592 copies were sold.  These will sell just fine.
    Buick is getting younger with their new products.  Buick will turn profits and be an asset to GM.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    It will be nice if they are able to reinvent the Buick brand in the US.  I don’t care for Chevrolets or Cadillacs and am NOT a GMC truck customer.  However, the odds are against them, like with Oldsmobile.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    I’m not sure what the problem is with the 4-cylinder. I used to have a (passed down) 98 Buick Century with 6-cylinder 150 hp and that was overpowered for the target audience. It actually really was lame compared to my Mazda 6 4-cylinder. But i still passed by every buick since that is not a driving car, it is a sleeping car.
    In Europe almost all cars are 4-cylinders and that is not a problem, even with Autobahn speed. If it is a decent motor, it beats most 6-cylinders.
    The typical Buick driver (average 78 years old) wouldn’t know the difference anyway. They just need a 6-cylinder for them because they know from their past (WWII) that is what they need (the same way they know that black and white TV sets are better than color)
    It also has 6-speed automatic, that should help accelerating.
     

  • avatar
    PennSt8

    I’m seeing a lot of double standards here. Here we have a decent design with an efficient engine lineup for those that don’t need 300 H.P., and GM is still catching flack. If it’s built well, reliable and offers up a semi-decent driving experience what’s not to like? I certainly would rather pocket the money and drive this over an IS250 or the 4 cylinder TSX, which gained weight and lost its sporting edge.
    On a side note, GM needs to sell a version of the OPC stateside.

  • avatar
    chanman

    But will it count as buying American?

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Un-fuckin-believable. I used to be able to forgive GM for it’s follies, and my bias for Buicks used to be concrete, but this limp wristed wuss-strosity is beyond even my ability to forgive. 220hp in a car that heavy is NOT progress even if it’s for the sake of government appeasement/efficiency. I’m so disgusted right now I can’t even think of anything else to say but this: Make a Grand National version (with enough horsepower to motivate it out of pussyville) or I’ll officially become a Ford man. Jesus…

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      220hp in a car that size is not a government appeasement/fuel economy minded drivetrain at all. If they wanted a fuel efficient version, they would bring over the base gasser from Europe, which has 115hp. Which is normal for a base midsize in Europe.
      220 hp in a non-performance, non-sporty midsize isn’t enough? If the horsepower wars go on like that, you’ll demand 400hp in another 10 years.

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    The problem is the Malibu, and the perceptions of being able to get a V6 in a Chevy but only a 4 in a Buick.  Interesting to see how it’ll be priced.

    I’ve been in these here in China, both Turbo and NA, and while they’re nice and ride well, they’re a little cramped on the inside, especially in the back as mentioned.  

    An OPC would make me visibly excited, and I’d replace the Altima SE-R with one if it were available (and if I lived in the US).

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Am I the only one who finds it a bit weird that they used the Opel Insignia pretty much 1:1, but swapped the drivetrains out? (Opel has a 180 hp 1.6 turbo and a 211 hp 2.0 turbo without direct injection)
    Re-engineering the car to use different drivetrains can’t be free.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    to quote GM: [Regal] has a chassis and structural systems that were developed in Germany, giving it the handling and dynamics of a premium European sport sedan.

    sigh…people who buy domestic (espeically Buick, the supposedly “American Lexus”) do not want a European-style experience. See Merkur, lol.

    The Regal woulda made a great G6. what a waste. triple sigh.

  • avatar
    John

    $25,175 – Chevy Malibu LT (2lt) 2.4l i4
    $27,690 – Chevy Malibu LT (2lt) 3.5l v6
    $27,085 – Buick Lacrosse CX 3.0l v6
    $29,230 – Buick Lucerne CX-1 3.9l v6 (I had no Idea GM was still using this engine!)
    $29,310 – Acura TSX – 2.4l i4
    $34,850 – Acura TSX V6 – 3.5l v6
     
    Can you say product overlap? Where the hell are they going to place this thing? It’s intended competition starts at 29k with the 4cyl. But Buick already has two models priced at or below that(not that I see much cross shopping between a Lucerne and TSX). Seems to me this would be priced right in the heart of the Lacrosse’s territory. Any lower and it will be in Malibu territory. And there is no way buyers will consider Regal’s 182hp ecotec over TSX’s 201hp mill. Wow. GM does it again.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The Lucerne is going away and won’t appeal to buyers of the LaCrosse and the Regal.
       
      The Regal will be below the LaCrosse (at least when the Regal has the CX trim, remember that the LaCrosse price will probably increase next year) and priced below the Acura.  I am not quite sure how the pricing against the Malibu will be, but you need to compare base price to base price.  The Malibu starts at $21,825.
      And there are plenty of buyers who will compare the Regal to the TSX, because not everything is about engines.

  • avatar
    z350

    It seems pretty clear that the only reason GM keeps Buick around in the US is so that they can sell Buicks in China as “authentically American” (with German, Korean and Chinese engineering/design).

  • avatar
    impreza_13

    “The American version of a Chinese re-badge of a German sedan to be built in Canada…”
    Some sick, twisted part of my brain wants to see NMOFGM try to wax poetic about that!

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    only one trim level (CXL) will be available.
    Hey, why not eliminate the trim level of CXL. GM will save thousands of dollars on CXL badging, paperwork, coding, warehousing, shipping, installation and possibly warranty claims. They’ll be able to pay us back sooner for bailing them out!

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    @john.fritz

    “So is this where GM is heading, installing four bangers in all their cars? I don’t care if the thing has five turbos and 400 horsepower, it’s still a four cylinder engine.”

    This is where ALL car makers are going. 

  • avatar
    don1967

    A 3,600-pound Buick with a turbo four sounds like a bad dream from 1983.   Will it come with pin stripes and 14-inch wheels?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The LaCrosse is selling well.  For October, 3228 copies were sold

    That isn’t “well” at all.  On the contrary, that’s terrible.  Those numbers tell you that the car is a loser.

    Unless GM can boost the sales prices significantly (good luck with that), there is no way that the vehicle will ever be profitable with sales at such low volumes.   If GM sells only 40,000 LaCrosses per year with only modest transaction prices, that will only confirm Buick’s position in North America as a giant financial black hole that sucks in cash, never to be seen again.  The breakeven point must surely be with sales at least 2-3 times higher than that.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      It would be great to have some numbers to go along with your assumptions that 40k isn’t enough and that the LaCrosse is selling at “modest transactions prices”.  Buick makes money for GM.  BTW, how many large Luxury sedans sell in the 40k range a year in the US?

  • avatar
    JSF22

    It sounds as though it might even be a nice car for someone, but I don’t get it. It will give Buick three mid-to-large sedans (a still significant but rapidly shrinking segment), two of which are handsome but identical looking with the third a snoozer that looks like the cleaning lady styled it, all of which (depending upon equipment) will overlap in price. With what car other than LaCrosse will this thing credibly compete? And why would anyone choose it over a Lexus? Even my neighbors here in Naples have abandoned Buick — everyone has either an RX330 or an Avalon or both (all pearly white of course). Oh, well, it will be an improvement in the National Executive Selection row.

  • avatar
    ott

    @don1967…
    A 3,600-pound Buick with a turbo four sounds like a bad dream from 1983.   Will it come with pin stripes and 14-inch wheels?

    Wasn’t there a Buick T-type with a turbo V6 available in the early eighties? regardless of it’s hefty weight  it was faster than a V8 Corvette… not too shabby. So with all the advancements in engine efficiency and horsepower gains over the last two decades, I think a turbo 4 will be more than adequate.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    There are so many examples of 3600lbs cars with 4cyl that are out there today.  And these are powerful 4cyls.  Most manufactures were be following suit.  CAFE will force them to.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Buick makes money for GM.

    Why would you presume that a company that just filed bankruptcy due to its inability to appeal to car buyers is making money from car sales?

    how many large Luxury sedans sell in the 40k range a year in the US?

    Er, this car sells for about the same price as a higher trim Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.   As in, cars that easily sell 350,000-400,000 units per year, consistently.

    Referring to this as a “luxury car” is a real stretch, when luxury sedans tend to sell in the $35-50k range and up. This car stickers in the high 20′s to low 30′s, and is already carrying a $1000 incentive.

    Buick is stuck in the “near luxury” trap that Saab has long been in — luxury car volumes, at non-luxury prices.  That isn’t a profitable place to be.  Either they need to sell the same number of cars at higher prices, or else they need to sell a lot more units at the current prices.    But if we have learned anything about GM, it’s that the company is talented at losing money, so you can bet that neither of these will occur.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    “Those numbers tell you that the car is a loser.’
    Perhaps you need to know that just about every one shipped to dealers is sold. For MSRP as well. Loser?

  • avatar
    NickR

    Well, Porsche had a 3.0L 4-cyl a long time ago and GM has 2.9L.  I imagine there will be a lot of fours in this size range in the future.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Perhaps you need to know that just about every one shipped to dealers is sold.

    That sounds like salesman hype to me.  (And we have established that you are a salesman at a GM dealership, so I suppose that’s to be expected.)

    This sounds more realistic:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/autoblog-explains-90-day-buick-lacrosse-inventory-over-supply-promise/
     
    And there is the $1,000 incentive. It seems likely that there are more incentives to come.


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