Call it a longshot, but two wagon revelations in one week have us wondering if a long-ignored vehicle segment is about to see a resurgence in the SUV-loving U.S.
Update: Added statement from Buick.
Speaking with a well-placed source, TTAC gleaned details on the forthcoming Buick Regal, which will be revealed in the second quarter of 2017, possibly at the New York International Auto Show.
Buick’s stunning Avenir Concept from the 2015 North American International Auto Show will not reach production, but the concept’s Avenir nameplate will be used as a Buick sub-brand.
In the same vein as GMC’s upmarket Denali sub-brand, Avenir will become the high-end trim level “on three [Buick] models around the globe in the next 18 months,” Buick spokesperson Stuart Fowle told TTAC.
American Chevrolet Volt fans have long discussed how the quasi-upscale extended-range EV might have fared with a Buick badge instead of being branded as a bread-and-butter Chevrolet.
It appears the Chinese have gone beyond the discussion phase.
According to Chinese website Autohome, Shanghai GM gets it, and has pulled the strings to rename the Chevy Volt the Velite for a brand that is more prestigious and sells in higher volume in China. (Read More…)
The 1975-1980 Buick Skyhawk was a sporty-looking two-door based on the Chevrolet Vega platform, and Skyhawks (and their Chevrolet Monza, Oldsmobile Starfire, and Pontiac Sunbird siblings) were once all over America’s roads. They weren’t build particularly well, and they hemorrhaged resale value in a hurry; by the end of the 1980s, nearly every single one of them was gone.
Here’s a very rough example I spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last month. (Read More…)
Production of the Buick Verano is expected to end next month, but it seems we’ve already forgotten about the nameplate and the sort-of luxury compact car it was attached to.
The model lives on in China, but a hatchback bearing the Buick badge and a Verano GS nameplate has been seen driving near General Motors’ Milford, Michigan proving grounds, according to photos published by AutoGuide. (Read More…)
A July 2016 surge to 22,960 sales produced the best month of U.S. sales for General Motors’ Buick brand in nearly three years.
“Year to date, Buick retail deliveries have grown 6 percent,” General Motors claimed in its monthly release, “and Buick has gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share.”
GM also said 2016, with 114,105 retail sales through July, represented the best seven-month retail start to a year since 2005 in the United States.
But don’t get too excited, LeSabre lovers, Skylark supporters, and rooters of Regals. We’re talking about 2005, when U.S. Buick sales had already fallen by more than a third in only three years. (Read More…)
I’m going to wager you’ve gorged yourself at a sprawling Chinese buffet at least once. Back in my college days, Emerald Palace was a favourite: big portions, ample choices, reasonable prices. Sometimes, the proprietors would limit choice, holding back the good stuff for busier, higher-profit nights. It was annoying because you knew — knew! — a few scrumptious menu items were locked away in the kitchen walk-in, just out of reach.
The previous-generation Buick LaCrosse debuted in the dark recesses of 2009, when the domestic auto industry — hemorrhaging red ink and tottering towards bankruptcy — cried and shovelled back tub loads of Ben & Jerry’s. Buick was on the minds of Chinese buyers for a few years by this time. This played a large part in the brand escaping the executioner’s axe seven years ago. The second-generation LaCrosse was Buick’s all-in gambit on The Red Dragon.
Domestically, Buick’s been making a splash lately, and some of that swagger is apparent in the team that worked on the LaCrosse. Not content to simply chase its existing customers, the tri-shield brand plans to make the LaCrosse one of its “conquest models,” drawing buyers’ attention out from behind the wheels of competing marques. To this extent, the LaCrosse is actually two very different cars, depending on how you tick the option boxes.
Apparently, several people at General Motors weren’t happy that the concept’s shapely flanks and lithe profile saw the light of day, despite favorable reaction from the media. According to an uncorroborated source at GM Inside News, the Avista’s arrival was a blow to the team behind the Chevrolet Camaro. (Read More…)
Buick is all about China, where the brand claims more than 5 percent market share.
Buick’s achievements in the United States, once storied, are now not nearly so impressive. Buick’s market share in America today is half what it was in 2002, after volume declined in eight of 14 years, tumbling from more than 430,000 sales 14 years ago to 223,055 last year.
This is part of the Buick story we told you yesterday. In touting record global sales as one of the planet’s fastest-growing volume brands, Buick’s General Motors parent company also made clear that the brand is achieving rapidly increased rates of sales because of the Chinese market, even though U.S. sales are declining, albeit marginally.
Following our managing editor’s press of the publish button, we almost immediately heard from Buick. (Read More…)
As if we needed more evidence that North America is an increasingly unimportant component of Buick’s future plans — Buick is discontinuing the Verano, its most popular car model in the U.S. and the most popular Buick overall in Canada — GM revealed that Buick added more Chinese sales between January and June than the whole U.S. Buick division managed in toto. (Read More…)
“An old man turned ninety-eight,
He won the lottery and died the next day” – Alanis Morissette
General Motors’ Buick Verano didn’t make it to 98, but after turning the grand-old age of 5, the entry-level Buick sedan will join a congregation of defunct Buicks in Detroit’s vehicular graveyard. It would seem easy enough for the second-generation Verano to make its way over from China, where Buick is GM’s darling brand. In the interests of products that GM believes will produce higher U.S. volumes with superior margins, namely E-badged crossovers, the Verano’s North American days are over.
It’s not too difficult to understand why. In the United States, Buick reported 45,527 Verano sales in the model’s second full year, 2013. Just two years later, Verano volume in 2015 was down 30 percent from that peak. Buick is on track in 2016 to sell fewer than 27,000 Veranos in America. Sales of Buick’s more popular entry-level model, the Encore subcompact crossover, are up 21 percent this year. Already in 2016, through only five months, Buick has sold 30,330 Encores in the United States.
Yet north of the border, the Verano’s demise is indeed ironic. Just days before Automotive News revealed that GM would end the Verano’s North American run with an abbreviated 2017 model year, GM Canada revealed that Verano sales had risen to an all-time high in April. (Read More…)