In 1979, the Riviera moved onto the front-wheel-drive Toronado/Eldorado platform, continuing the tradition of rococo Riviera personal luxury coupes that started back in 1963. This version of the Riviera was built through the 1985 model year, so we’re looking at the very last year of the V8 Riviera in this weathered Denver car. (Read More…)
It’s official. The little sedan that carried the entry-level luxury flag for Buick has fallen in battle.
Its assailant? The crossover, and changing consumer preferences.
General Motors sent a memo to Canadian dealers today stating the compact Verano sedan will cease production at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan on Oct. 2016, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.
On the heels of a stop sale order and subsequent rush to reprint Monroney stickers with correct EPA fuel economy ratings, General Motors is working on a plan to compensate buyers of the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.
Seeking to smooth any ruffled feathers, GM expects to announce a plan to dealers and customers within the next seven days, according to Automotive News.
That assurance isn’t enough to placate some owners of the full-size crossover, as GM was slapped with a prospective class-action lawsuit on Tuesday. (Read More…)
The Verano, Buick’s four-year-old entry-level sedan based on the previous-generation Chevrolet Cruze, will join the Century, LeSabre, Park Avenue, Reatta, Riviera, Roadmaster, Skylark, and numerous other cars in Buick’s mass grave at the end of the 2017 model year (hopefully far, far away from Harley Earl’s resting place).
Automotive News reported yesterday that its GM sources say the Verano, while living on in China, won’t be renewed on this side of the Pacific. Verano volume tumbled 30 percent between its U.S. sales peak in 2013, the Verano’s second full year, and 2015. Buick is now generating nearly six in ten U.S. sales with just two crossovers, while the brand’s four car nameplates combined for a 3-percent drop during the first four months of 2016. That’s before Buick adds the Envision to the middle of its crossover lineup and before Buick kills off the entry-level car that generates more than one-third of the brand’s passenger car volume.
So, if it’s not too impertinent to ask, not too morbid or irreverent to inquire, how long before Buick discontinues its whole North American car division in a quest to become America’s crossover-ized answer to Land Rover? (Read More…)
Buick is poised to take the Verano behind the barn and vacate the compact car market in North America, according to sources familiar with the automaker’s plans.
After years of covering the automotive industry, I’m still amused by the enormous gulf between auto enthusiasts and “real people.” (I’m talking to you, B&B!) We get excited when Honda decides to offer a manual transmission in the V6 Accord, despite the tens of buyers who will come running for it, or General Motors’ confidence to sell the Chevrolet SS here at all. “Real people” like it when there’s a less expensive way to get into a BMW M product, as well as the ability to go into a showroom and walk out the same day with the same nameplate they know and trust.
A great example of this chasm/schism is the Buick Cascada. Here’s how we imagine the reaction of each affinity group:
Auto enthusiasts/press: “Buick’s decided to rebadge an aging Opel and try to pass it off in the United States as The New Thing in the segment abandoned by the Volkswagen Eos and Chrysler 200 convertible?”
Real people: “There’s a convertible Buick now?”
If 1958 wasn’t the peak of automotive glitz and excess, it was damn close to it.
American automakers, emboldened by a never-ending postwar buying spree, heaped more chrome and new technology onto their models that year than ever before. Uplevel models — Lincoln, Buick and Olds, especially — were the worst offenders, somehow managing to make themselves look 1,000 pounds heavier than their tasteful ’57 predecessors. (Read More…)
Buick’s turbocharged, Chinese-made Envision crossover is landing on American shores in early summer, but the price could cause some buyers to rethink their purchase date.
Holding the title of being the first U.S. model manufactured in China, the Envision is already a two-year veteran of the overseas market. Americans are notoriously SUV-thirsty, so it was inevitable that the Envision would make its way here, loaded with a high level of standard equipment.
The starting MSRP for the 2016 Envision is $42,995 (all charges included), a figure that tops the range-leading Enclave, which starts at $39,065 (minus freight, destination and fees). (Read More…)
The Beijing Motor Show begins next week, but Buick couldn’t wait a minute longer.
At yesterday’s 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai (was there a parade?), the automaker rolled out its LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), a model tailor-made for the Chinese market.
China loves Buicks, and Buick loves them right back, so much so that the U.S. will get a Chinese-made model this fall. The LaCrosse HEV is part of General Motors’ plan to foist as many vehicles on China as possible. (Read More…)
Remember the misery of the Chevy Citation, which had such outstandingly bad build quality and horrifying public reliability problems that the damage to Chevrolet’s image took decades to repair? Only the staggeringly nasty Pontiac Phoenix (a Pontiac-badged Citation sibling) might have been worse; meanwhile, the Buick Division leaped on board the oil-leaking, prematurely corroding, Iron Duke-powered X-Body bandwagon, and fired a full spread of torpedoes into the once-beloved Skylark name.
Not many of these best-forgotten automobiles remain uncrushed, but I was able to spot this ’85 sedan in a Northern California wrecking yard last winter. (Read More…)
Volkswagen shareholders are wondering if they’ll be receiving a lump of coal in their dividend stocking this year.
That, Sergio is seeking a partner (but not those French guys), NASCAR’s Derek White is in trouble north of the border, GM seals the deal with a startup, and no Baby Buick for you … after the break!
Because General Motors felt that the world — or at least Michigan and maybe Wisconsin — needed a small, affordable personal luxury coupé with a digital instrument cluster, rackety pushrod four-cylinder engine, and a name that started life as the designation for an early-’80s Regal trim package, the 1985-87 Buick Somerset, sibling to the N-Body Pontiac Grand Am, was born. I have an unexplainable fascination with The General’s attempts to compete with high-end German sporty luxury in the 1980s and 1990s, so I was drawn to this California Somerset like a personal-injury attorney scenting an Accord driver with Takata airbag fragments embedded in his flesh. (Read More…)
Would Buick consider producing a pickup truck? Now that the brand’s lineup has been fleshed out to include sedans, SUVs, and a convertible, what’s stopping General Motors from adding a Buick-badged variant to either its midsize or large-truck portfolio?
According to Ed Welburn, who oversees global design for GM, there’s a simple answer.
“No, I don’t see it,” Welburn said, wincing. “Wow. I haven’t gotten that question from anyone.”
At that point we expected silence, as it’s not if anyone is clamoring for a Buick pickup truck, despite a market that’s moving toward softer pickups that err on the side of comfort and convenience — but Welburn went on.
General Motors has unveiled its refreshed 2017 Buick Encore, but you’ll have to muscle your way through a mob of leering frat boys in order to catch a peek.
Wait, that might misrepresent the Encore’s market just a little…
The smallest crossover in the GM fold gets a subtle makeover for 2017, trading its previous Buick waterfall front end for the new, corporate “winged” grille that adorns the restyled LaCrosse.