'That's a Buick?': Starting in 2019, There'll Be One Less Way to Know

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Buick had best hope every consumer knows exactly what the tri-shield badge stands for, as the automaker will soon dispense with “Buick” lettering on all of its models.

The dropping of the brand nameplate on Buick vehicles, first confirmed by GM Authority, began with the refreshed-for-2019 Envision crossover. A fluke born of Chinese manufacture? Nope — Buick is going away, in name only.

According to the automaker, all crossovers and sedans will do away with brand lettering for the 2019 model year, leaving just the iconic (and itself refreshed) badge and model name to signify the vehicle’s identity.

Buick spokesman Stu Fowle told CarBuzz that the decision relates to “global brand consistency,” and the General Motors fells the tri-shield has enough recognition to stand on its own. There’s research to back this up, he asserts.

As well, no other GM brand bothers with a nameplate on the trunk or liftgate, save for GMC, and it’s not commonplace in the industry, Fowle added. The prestigious “Avenir” sub-brand will continue making its presence known on Buick vehicles.

Already, models sold in China fail to inform passers-by (via shiny lettering) that the vehicle in question is, in fact, a Buick. It doesn’t seem to matter, as Buick is China’s best-selling GM brand. China, of course, is also Buick’s biggest market. Sales of Buick-badged vehicles topped 1.18 million in China last year, helping GM post record volume of 4.04 million vehicles.

In contrast, Buick sold 219,231 vehicles in the U.S. last year — a 4.5 percent decrease compared to 2016, and half of the brand’s 2002 volume. (For the record, U.S. sales over the first two months of 2018 are up 2.5 percent.)

It’s hard to imagine GM’s decision to remove the nameplate having any effect on sales. It’s purely a cosmetic thing, though it will make it easier to tell 2018 models from newer ones. Why is that important? Picture yourself, years from now, on a used car lot run by a guy you don’t exactly trust.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Mar 12, 2018

    "I see you got a new Hogwarts." "A what?!" "A Hogwarts. Aren't those shields on the back the dorms, or houses? You know the blue one is Ravensomething, the red one is snakesomething and the white one is griffinsomething, a Hogwarts, right?”

  • RedRocket RedRocket on Mar 13, 2018

    The TTAC peanut gallery never fails to disappoint when a GM or especially Buick article pops up.

    • See 1 previous
    • RedRocket RedRocket on Mar 14, 2018

      @highdesertcat Only in the twisted minds of the fans of tinny, buzzy Mazdas, agricultural Subarus, and and brown diesel-powered manual shift Euro station wagons that seem to congregate here.

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  • Slavuta Every electric car must come with a film about lithium mining