Is Buick Backsliding In Its Quest For Younger Buyers?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
is buick backsliding in its quest for younger buyers

Over a year now, the launch of Buick’s new LaCrosse gave us pause to consider the average age of Buick buyers, and the future of the brand’s demography. At the time, The Detroit New claimed the average age of Buick buyers was 63, a fact that gave the paper cause to celebrate Buick’s new lease on life. And considering that the brand once attracted buyers of an average age of 72, that wasn’t a bad trend at the time. Today’s DetN has a similar story, lauding Buick’s newfound youthful appeal with such quotes as this one from IHS Global Insight’s Aaron Bragman:

They are making definite improvements in the U.S. To kill Buick would have been crazy. It’s one of the most important brands in the Chinese market…. It’s still too soon to really come to a verdict on how Buick is doing in the U.S. But nobody can say those are old person’s cars anymore. Because they aren’t.

But this latest round of Buick-boosting is still based on the old reference point of a 72-year-old average buyer demographic. Compared to a year ago, Buick’s average buyer age appears to have crept back up again, as the Detroit News cites a current average demographic of 65.

The DetN’s Robert Snell claims “that figure is trending lower ahead of the launch of the Buick Regal midsize sport sedan this spring,” but it appears that the first year of Buick’s LaCrosse-led reinvention has kept the brand’s average buyer age stagnant at best. And Buick is still a long ways from making headway in the fat part of America’s population pyramid. Which means the new Opel Astra-based (Delta II), US-bound Buick compact sedan will either radically shift Buick’s image and demography, or it will be ignored by all but the most brand-dedicated of downsizing retirees. And you might as well hazard a guess in the comments section as to which scenario is most likely… after all, this gamble is being paid for with your tax dollars.

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  • Bryan Kauffman Bryan Kauffman on Apr 13, 2010

    Don't expect us young people to have the money to buy nice cars like buicks. Let the bankers and sports stars who make obscene amounts of money buy new cars. The rest of us are going to be working for minimum wage until we die.

  • GarbageMotorsCo. GarbageMotorsCo. on Apr 13, 2010

    As long as there are retirment communities, there will always be a need for Buicks. Not all of them can afford Cadillacs you know.

  • ToolGuy This truck is the perfect size, and the fuel economy is very impressive.-This post sponsored by ExxonMobil
  • ToolGuy If I were Jeep, I would offer a version with better NVH and charge more for it.And then I would offer a version with worse NVH, and charge more for it. (There is an audience for both.)
  • Szi65724742 Not saying dude's not a douche, but Google Maps doesn't show a stop sign at any of the three Walmarts dumping onto 60 - there's a stop-line at best. And while you nerd-rage at a random dude in a truck, a similar thing happens ALL. THE. TIME here - get Prius'd and Tesla'd every single day. I got hit while stopped at a stoplight. 7:30am, sunny morning, clear, straight sightlines for a couple miles. Was a loaded down work van. I don't rage and yell to get those off the streets. Blame the drivers, not the vehicles.
  • AMcA This, from the same regulatory agency that mandates the two adjacent outboard and center rear seat buckles be incompatible, so that the impatient passenger who hits the wrong buckle the first time simply gives up. You oughta watch my husband in the back of a cab. Every time he tries to put the outboard belt into the center buckle. The belt and buckle are incompatible and won't latch. He says "godamn [insert vehicle brand]" and stays unbelted.
  • VoGhost Twenty comments, but none acknowledging that the 'Elon promised me a $35K car!' propaganda can end now. But then, accountability was never a strong suit of the anti-America crowd.