2024 Buick Encore GX: Old Brand, New Attitude
Buick is an old nameplate, both in terms of how long the brand has existed and its perceived target market.
OK, the latter probably isn't true anymore and probably hasn't been for a while. Certainly, the brand's actual target market appears, at least based on recent TV ad campaigns, to be young-ish and attractive folks between the ages of 30 and 50.
GM Earns Nearly $10B, Cuts Big Checks for the Hourly
Flying in the face of empty dealership lots and a headache-inducing supply chain, General Motors reported this morning that the company recorded just under $10 billion in net income during the 2022 calendar year. This is good news for anyone wearing a GM hat, including hourly workers who will find enormous bonus checks in their mailboxes later this year.
Junkyard Find: 1977 Buick Skylark Sedan
Starting with the 1962 model year, GM sold cars on the new compact rear-wheel-drive X Platform (thus dooming the Corvair long before Ralph Nader had any say in the matter). In the United States, these cars were Chevrolet Chevy IIs and Novas; north of the border, they were Acadians. Eventually, the platform got bigger and the other GM car divisions jumped in for a piece of the action. Buick sold these cars from the 1973 through 1979 model years, and I've found one of those Buickized Novas in a boneyard near Reno, Nevada.
TTAC Throwback: 2012 Buick Regal GS
Today's throwback for your midday enjoyment is a 2012 Buick Regal GS.
Buick Requiring Dealers to Invest at Least $300K to Go EV
Buick has big EV plans, and its dealers will be paying a big cost if they want to stay with the brand.
Buick Unveils Ultium-Based Electra E5 EV for China
Earlier this year, General Motors filed several trademark applications with model names ranging from Electra E1 to E9, suggesting that Buick would revive the iconic model name for future EVs. The automaker recently debuted the Electra E5 in China, its first vehicle to ride on GM’s Ultium platform and a potential preview of the models we could see here in the future.
GM Unveils Envista SUV for China and Teases U.S Introduction
Some have questioned why General Motors keeps Buick around since it seems like it’s not the most popular brand on America’s roads. What that view fails to consider, however, is that Buick is one of GM’s strongest brands in China, and earlier this month, the company’s president confirmed a new crossover would be coming for the country.
Electric Buick SUV Spied
Spy shooters have spotted a Buick EV SUV.
Junkyard Find: 1938 Oldsmobile Touring Sedan
Most of the inventory at your typical Ewe Pullet-style big self-service car graveyard will be vehicles between about 15 and 25 years old, though you'll see some much newer 500s and Mirages while discarded machinery of the 1970s and 1980s remains easy enough to find. The 1930s, though— that's a different story. While you will run across prewar iron in a generations-old family junkyard, I've managed to document but a single 1930s car in a U-Wrench-type facility prior to today. Here's the second: a once-glamorous 1938 Buick in an excellent yard in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Buick Going EV Only After 2030, Gets New Logo
On Wednesday, Buick formally committed itself toward an “all-electric portfolio” by 2030 — saying that it would be embarking on a brand transformation that would fundamentally change the company forever. This includes an entirely new horizontally oriented badge that doesn’t stray too far from Buick’s traditional tri-shield design.
“The Buick brand is committed to an all-electric future by the end of this decade,” stated Duncan Aldred, global vice president, Buick and GMC. “Buick’s new logo, use of the Electra naming series and a new design look for our future products will transform the brand.”
Abandoned History: General Motors' Turbo-Hydramatic Transmissions (Part III)
We return to the Turbo-Hydramatic once more today, and our third installment sees us at a critical point in the timeline of the automatic transmission. Fuel economy pressure from the government and performance demands of the consumer increased considerably in the intervening years since the THM’s debut in 1964. That meant the creation of lighter, more compact, and cheaper versions of the Turbo-Hydramatic compared to its flagship shifter, the THM400. GM branched out into the likes of the THM350, THM250, and the very problematic THM200.
In 1987, GM stepped away from the traditional THM naming scheme and switched to a new combination of letters and numbers. Number of gears, layout, and strength combined to turn the THM400 into the 3L80. But the hefty gearbox was already limited by then to heavier truck applications; passenger cars moved on to four forward gears after the dawn of the Eighties.
Junkyard Find: 1996 Buick LeSabre Wildcat Edition
During the bling-and-horsepower-crazed 1960s, The General’s Buick Division took the full-size B-Body platform, added a hot engine and flashy trim, and called it the Wildcat. Not many well-heeled grandfathers felt interested in doing land-yacht burnouts in the VFW parking lot, it turned out, so Wildcat sales ended after 1970… but a yearning for the glory days of the Wildcat must have inspired some Buick dealers to create their own Wildcats during the 1990s. Here’s one of those rare special-edition cars, found in a Denver-area self-service yard.
Abandoned History: General Motors' Turbo-Hydramatic Transmissions (Part II)
Our Abandoned History coverage of the Turbo-Hydramatic transmission series continues today. The THM was a singular solution to two different automatic transmissions in use by Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Buick in 1963. Turbo-Hydramatic arrived at a time of modernization for the automatic, which prior to the mid-Sixties was regarded as inefficient and less than smooth.
The THM400 was the 1964 replacement for the Hydra-Matic and Buick’s Dynaflow and established itself as a smooth and reliable gearbox. It proved useful in a variety of luxury and heavy-duty applications and shrugged off weight and torque easily. In short order, it took off as the transmission of choice for various small manufacturers outside of GM. However, no matter how excellent the THM400 was, it found itself squeezed by a drive toward greater fuel efficiency. It was also a bit hefty to be of broad use in smaller or lighter passenger cars. GM needed more Turbo-Hydramatics!
Abandoned History: General Motors' Turbo-Hydramatic Transmissions (Part I)
A few weeks ago, we concluded Abandoned History’s two-part coverage of the Chrysler UltraDrive transmission. Within the comments was a request for more transmission coverage of an equally abandoned nature. Let it be so! Come along as we discuss the vast automatically shifted expanse that was the Turbo-Hydramatic transmission family, by General Motors.
GM China Has Employees Living Inside Factories
General Motors’ joint venture in Shanghai is reportedly having employees sleep on factory floors to remain operational during regional COVID-19 lockdowns. The facilities are operated collaborative by GM and state-owned Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp, with government restrictions being in place until at least Friday. Due to the tens of million people affected, it’s one of the largest lockdowns instituted since the pandemic started.
Initially reported by Reuters, the situation was framed as GM finding a workaround to ongoing Chinese lockdowns while other companies simply stopped production. But that seems to be glossing over some of the relevant context, mainly that the plant is now loaded up with workers who are sleeping inside the factory and living in relative isolation to ensure the facility is compliant with China’s stringent zero-tolerance policy while still managing to remain competitive.