QOTD: What's Wrong With Buick?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
qotd whats wrong with buick

As Tim Cain alluded to earlier this month while speaking of Encore sales, Buick is in a bit of a rut. In a market that’s growing with many brands seeing best-ever sales periods, Buick is being propped up by a single model, its cute-ute Encore. That’s not enough to stave off the downward sales trend of its other offerings as the brand as a whole is down 5 percent year-to-date.

Armchair analysts and pool chair pundits – this is your time to shine. Let’s fix Buick in 24 hours.

While the Encore continues to garner the attention of the buying public, other models – Verano, Regal and LaCrosse – aren’t keeping up in this SUV and truck driven automotive market. Even the Enclave, once lauded as the savior of Buick when dealers couldn’t keep them on the lots, has taken a hit versus newer competition and other models sharing the same platform, the Traverse and Acadia.

What about the Buicks actually finding homes? Even those seem to be problematic. The Regal wears its orphan status badge back to the dealer more so than any other vehicle on sale within the first year of ownership. Buick is continuing on with their “That’s a Buick?” campaign, one they say is a success yet isn’t backed up by its sales figures. Also, the brand exists in a no-man’s land previously occupied by Oldsmobile, Mercury, Plymouth and Saab. All of those are gone now.

Is it the market? Does Buick cut too thin a niche between volume and luxury? Or is it the product, and not the marketing or positioning, responsible for the brand’s lack of sales?

Personally, I think they should just call it Opel and get it over with.

What do you think, Best & Brightest? How would you fix Buick?

Join the conversation
13 of 231 comments
  • Tomas De Torquematic Tomas De Torquematic on Jun 03, 2015

    Well, for one, the brand hasn't been a viable export for about fifty years.

  • Tomsriv Tomsriv on Jun 15, 2015

    The Buick Avenir is what they need! Bring back RWD. If it had a V8, all the better. I am 37 and I have been driving Chrysler products the last 10 years because I love the 300/charger/Magnum. I still see 05-10 300's everywhere. People love those cars. GM can't figure out that they need a RWD car to get a chunk of the market. We are actually looking to get an Enclave for our family. It is one of the best 7-8 passenger SUVs. My first choice is the Dodge Durango, but the wife likes the less masculine styled, more smooth looking Enclave. Plus she likes the Buick name more. It's going to be her car so she gets to decide.

    • See 7 previous
    • Zoomzoom91 Zoomzoom91 on Jun 18, 2015

      @Tomsriv I totally agree that the newer BMWs are a headache for DIY, lacking dipsticks and whatnot, but does that make them "not built to last?" Did you have problems with the engine/powertrain? That N52 3.0 is generally well regarded. You have to remove the front wheel to change a lightbulb in the Acadia.... The fact that it took GM 5 model years to bring reliability up to, I assume average, shows that the Lambda platform/powertrain had some serious, serious flaws/problems when it was introduced. Transmission wave plate failures, stretched timing chains, leaking sunroofs, power steering issues, HVAC problems, etc. Many cars are redesigned after 5-7 MY. Lambda is a weird exception and MY 2015 is the 9th without a real redesign. 2013 was a mild facelift.

  • Tomsriv Tomsriv on Jun 15, 2015

    Buick should be a cheaper Cadillac with slightly different options. Cadillac has CUE infotainment and I can't stand it. Buick and the rest of GM have a much better more conventional infotainment system that I like. I would much rather buy an expensive Buick with the good infotainment system than a Cadillac. But I can't get RWD in a Buick so I'm not excited about them.

  • Jayzwhiterabbit Jayzwhiterabbit on Jun 15, 2015

    Buick's reputation as a stodgy brand will probably never be overcome. Whatever happened to the "doctor's hot rod" thing (if that's what it was). Thirty years of cheapo interiors and lame cars, that's what. The new buicks are really nice cars, but so is every other brand now. Too little too late. Their sport utes are better. I like the styling of the Enclave and the new little crossover. It is the future of luxury cute-utes. If any of them deserve kudos, it's that new one.

    • Tomsriv Tomsriv on Jun 16, 2015

      I think you need radical product to get people passionate. Chrysler had the same reputation in 2004. The 300 changed that. Now mainstream products like the 200 have a wider audience due to the 300s success.