Buick Goes Upscale, Bumps Into New Cadillac XTS (In Concept)

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Take Buick’s LaCrosse, load it up with a fancier interior materials, wheels and trim, and what do you get? No, not a Cadillac XTS. The XTS, you see, is a fancier Buick LaCrosse for a different kind of buyer. The XTS is for people who might want a fancier LaCrosse, but with some “red blooded luxury” flair. This LaCrosse “GL” concept is for those who want a fancier LaCrosse which retains Buick’s “inviting luxury” vibe. See the difference? GM’s decision to keep Buick in its brand portfolio has worked out fairly well thus far, bracketing the luxury market with very different brand images and products… thus far. But with Cadillac dipping into Buick territory with its midsized XTS, now does not seem to be the time for Buick to move upwards by showing an ultra-luxury version of its midsized LaCrosse. Luckily this LaCrosse GL is just a concept, but it should remind The General that a two-brand approach to the luxury market has to be especially careful: swallow too much of the “different brands for different buyers” Kool-Aid and overlap becomes unavoidable. Appealing though it may be, this LaCrosse GL sounds a warning…

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 13, 2011

    People say that Cadillac and Lincoln need flagships. Well, part of Buick's place in Alfred Sloan's hierarchy was giving folks who could afford a Cadillac a less outwardly ostentatious alternative. Buick's didn't become known as doctors' cars because doctors couldn't afford Cadillacs, it was just that it wasn't quite so socially acceptable then, when people paid most medical bills, not insurance companies. So I think there's a spot for a very well appointed Buick without necessarily cannibalizing sales from Cadillac. One aspect of Sloan's hierarchy was that the brands indeed competed, but only at the margins. Should you buy a loaded Chevy or a lower end Pontiac? A nicely appointed Olds, or a Buick? A nice Buick, or a cheaper Cadillac, like a Calais.

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Nov 14, 2011

    Color me confused, what makes this an ultra-luxury model. 2-tone interior?? I'm sorry I just don't see what makes this special. Two colors of leather on the seats just doesn't impress me regardless of the other electronic doodads they put in it. I don't see how this intrudes on Cadillac. It's still a boring buick, barely anymore personality than a lexus. Which is the point I thought.

    • KalapanaBlack KalapanaBlack on Nov 14, 2011

      I'm with you here... I don't understand why this is a 'concept.' It's just a damn LaCrosse with different color leather and some slightly different (possibly larger, possibly not) wheels. Snoooooore. And then it became a post on TTAC. And then it became a hot topic that brought people out of the woodwork to discuss how this "new Buick model" (???) overlaps with the Cadillac. IT'S A LACROSSE WITH NEW WHEELS. It's not a new model. If the LaCrosse sitting at dealers right now doesn't overlap with the XTS, then neither does this thing. Why is this worthy of our attention at an auto show, or wherever they showed this? Does anybody else announce with a special concept when they change the wheel design on a midsize sedan or offer a new leather color on their seats? Hell, I'd say neither option even makes it to the production LaCrosse. Also, what the heck does "GL" mean? It used to be the basic trim level for VWs and some Oldsmobiles... GL doesn't scream upmarket luxury any more than DL does for me. Why couldn't this be the LaCrosse Ultra? Oh, that would make too much sense... Not to mention at least the old Park Ave Ultra had a special engine, unlike this alloys-and-leather option package. /rant

  • Bob65688581 We bought zillions of German cars, despite knowing about WWII slave labor. Refusing to buy something for ideological reasons is foolish.Both the US and the EU have imposed tariffs, so the playing field is level. I'll buy the best price/quality, regardless of nationality.Another interesting question would be "Would you buy one of the many new European moderate-price EVs?" but of course they aren't sold here.Third interesting question: "Why won't Stellantis sell its best products in America?"
  • Freshblather No. Worried there will be malicious executable code built into the cars motherboard that could disable the Chinese cars in the event of hostilities between the west and China.
  • Bd2 Absolutely not - do not want to support a fascist, totalitarian regime.
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.