QOTD: What to Do With Buick?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Buick is on my brain.

Not only does an Envision test vehicle sit some 20-odd stories beneath my feet in my parking garage, but the brand has been running its usual ad blitz during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (and presumably, the women’s, too). The tourney is one of my favorite sports events of the year, so I’ve been tuning in.

This means I’m seeing many Buick ads. This means the brand that this here site once put on Death Watch — and earned me at least one angry phone call from Buick PR — is still soldiering on.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Buick twice hosted me at the Final Four as part of a press junket. This was at a previous job.

Thing is, what IS Buick right now?

We know what it is supposed to be — the entry/mid-luxury brand that serves as the bridge between Chevrolet and Cadillac. But right now, it’s a brand that only sells crossovers, covering all sizes and price points. Crossovers that share plenty of bones with “lesser” Chevrolets.

Not to mention that sister brand GMC also sells upmarket crossovers.

What is Buick, then? An entry/mid-level brand exclusively for crossover buyers?

More to the point, what should it be?

I don’t think the brand should die. That could just be nostalgia speaking — I remember some pretty interesting iron sold under the Buick brand in the ’80s and ’90s — but I do believe there is a place on the market for a luxury brand sold by GM that slots in one level below Cadillac.

Especially if GM kepts upper-level Chevys and lower-level Caddys from being priced in the same range.

Again, this isn’t a Death Watch piece. I’m not asking if Buick should live or die, though “die” can be an option. This is an open-ended question, not a binary.

I am asking you, the Best and Brightest, how you’d manage product planning for the brand if you were suddenly plunked into a mahogany-paneled office in the Renaissance Center and given an executive’s pay plan.

So, B and B, what say you? What should GM do with Buick?

Keep it as is? Bring back sedans? Pursue performance? Kill it? Something else?

Have at it.

[Image: Buick]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 98 comments
  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Apr 01, 2021

    Kill Buick, expand Cadillac.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Apr 01, 2021

      Other way around. 1. Buick is a big brand in PRC. 2. Buick as a brand hasn't been screwing the pooch on product for near the entirety of four decades. 3. Buicks are sold alongside GMC, so two marques in the channel. Unless Cadillac's distribution channel is merged its alone and requires a full lineup.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 01, 2021

    " What to Do With Buick?" Leave it alone.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.
  • Geozinger Up until recently this was on my short list of cars to replace my old car. However, it didn't pass the "knee test" with my wife as her bad knee makes it difficult for her to get in and out of a sedan. I saw a number of videos about the car and it seems like the real deal as a sporting sedan. In addition I like the low price, too, but it was bad luck/timing that we didn't get to pull the trigger on this one.
  • ToolGuy I agree with everyone here. Of course there are exceptions to what I just said, don't take everything so literally. The important thing is that I weighed in with my opinion, which is helping to move things forward. I believe we can all agree that I make an important contribution (some will differ, that is their prerogative). A stitch in time saves nine. Life isn't fair, you know. I have more to say but will continue at our next meeting. You can count on that, for I am a man of my word. We will make it happen. There might be challenges. I mean, it is what it is. This too shall pass. All we can do is all we can do. These meetings are never really long enough for me to completely express all the greatness within me, are they? Let's meet to discuss. All in a day's work. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day. At the end of the day, I must say I agree with you. I think you will agree. When all is said and done, there is more said than done. But of course that is just one man's opinion. You are free to disagree. As I like to say...(I am working on my middle management skills -- how am I doing?)
  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.