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.
Toyota is hoping to break the internet with an alluring butt shot of an upcoming Prius variant.
That, a new guy will turn around Lada (again), Buick says you’ll never drive an Avista, the second GM ignition trial begins, and Google’s got its eye out for buses … after the break!
If you woke up not knowing the Chinese hate “new car” smell, consider yourself a well-informed person now.
Successfully selling a new vehicle in China means having to avoid the many cultural and legal traps specific to that growing market, reports Automotive News.
What works somewhere else might be a massive faux pas for Chinese buyers, meaning one wrong minor detail and an automaker can kiss its expensive international expansion goodbye. That’s a big concern for American automakers eyeing China in the hopes of boosting their global sales. (Read More…)
Some automakers decided that they would surprise viewers with their Super Bowl advertisements, rather than release them early and make my job easier.
Some other advertisers decreed that #SB50 would be the night of bowel issues, or of projectile obstetrics.
Let’s discuss the car ads I didn’t cover on Saturday … I’m sure there are other blogs for that other stuff. Eww.
Mark recently asked me a question: “Why do you race a Buick?”
No one has ever asked me that directly. Frankly, I didn’t have a specific answer. My team and I were simply playing by the strict-ish-ly simple 24 Hours of Lemons rule: “Vehicles must be acquired and prepared for a maximum of $500.”
The rest is history — but that wouldn’t make for a good story. So, to find a more specific reason, I looked back at the history of our battered Buick.
Ah, the disastrous GM diesel V-8 cars of the 1978-85 model years, equipped with failure-prone engines that scared generations of Americans away from diesel cars. Nowadays, of course, diesels work just fine (except when they don’t), but it’s good to see the occasional reminder of these miserable GM cars in the junkyard as part of our American automotive heritage. Only problem is, just about all of these cars were crushed or had gasoline-engine swaps decades ago (I recall helping my uncle drop a Chevy 307 into a very clean Olds 88, around 1988 or so).
Here’s an extremely rare example that I found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last week. (Read More…)
Last week, Opel teased its upcoming GT Concept by saying: “You will see Opel with a fresh pair of eyes.”
That’s just lovely.
But let’s take a step back, look at General Motors’ Alpha platform with a fresh pair of eyes and wonder aloud together: Is it all Alpha from here on out?
When I was a kid, there was a plentiful selection of automobile choices for old people. There were Buicks. There were Cadillacs. There were Lincolns. There were Oldsmobiles. There were even a few Japanese cars that clearly catered to the elderly. “Enlarged Speedometer Font” was an actual option on more than one vehicle when I was younger.
But what about today?