Buy/Drive/Burn: Classic Luxury Coupes From 1963
Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn brings three big and brawny American luxury coupes from 1963. You’ll have to burn one — no exceptions.
Rare Rides: Take Note of a 1960 Opel Rekord
Long before Opel became a donor for the badge-engineered Cadillac Catera and Buick Regal, the then GM-owned company shifted its own cars on North American soil. Today’s Rare Ride is a very early example of such a North American offering: It’s a two-door Rekord sedan from 1960.
GM Files Trademark Application; Are You Ready to Get Enspired?
We know, we know — you just wrapped up a lengthy and animated conversation about Buick with your coworkers, and you’re all Buicked out. Well, here’s something extra to chew on.
General Motors has filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for use of the name “Enspire” on motor vehicles. No, this doesn’t concern Chevrolet or Cadillac or GMC, that’s for sure. It does, however, concern Buick, as Enspire is the name given to a concept vehicle revealed last spring in China. But what would a production Enspire look like?
Driving Joy Rekindled, High Above L.A.
There are many things I don’t like about Los Angeles. The traffic, the cost of doing just about anything, the traffic, the sprawl, the traffic, the oversaturation of chain fast-food restaurants and billboards, the traffic.
However, there is one thing that makes me rethink my living situation. One thing that tempts me to move to the West Coast.
It’s not the weather, or the beach, or the chance at Hollywood stardom. It’s the roads.
Buy/Drive/Burn: 2018 Midsize Luxury Cars Nobody Buys
The Buy/Drive/Burn series has ventured into unpopular cars territory a time or two before. Most recently we discussed three large American sedans that are most unpopular indeed (two of those three are now on their way out). Today we pick a Buy amongst three lower-volume midsize offerings from second-tier luxury brands.
Buy/Drive/Burn: A Rear-drive C-body Showdown in 1980
A few months ago we selected a General Motors C-body from the three on offer in the mid-1990s, right at the end of the front-drive platform’s lifespan. Today’s trio is a variation on that theme, as suggested long ago by commenter Sgeffe.
He wanted to talk about rear-drive C-platform offerings — the full-size GMs available shortly before everything started going awry for the large sedan customer. Let’s go.
2020 Buick LaCrosse Leaked From Chinese Government Website
Images of the refreshed 2020 Buick LaCrosse have leaked, thanks to some help from an unsecured Chinese government website used in the certification process of upcoming models. Finally, bureaucratic screw-ups are working in our favor. While we’ve seen heavily camouflaged test mules in the past, this is our first uncovered look at the third generation LaCrosse’s refreshed bodywork. Alterations are meaningful but not overbearing.
The front end has been completely worked over, making the LaCrosse more closely resemble the Chevrolet Malibu. However, the changes were no doubt made to keep it in line with modern Buick models. Headlamps are slimmer, designed around the placement of the model’s enlarged grille, just like on the Enclave, while the taillights are pure Rega l. However, the LaCrosse carries just enough chrome to differentiate itself for those who like to pretend car spotting is a legitimate pastime.
Rare Rides: A Buick Dealers' Delight - the 1984 Bitter SC
Buick’s on again, off again relationship with the Opel brand is currently very much on, as two Opels badged as Regals tempt buyers, and one Opel badged as Cascada tempts rental companies. But these recent exercises in marketing are somewhat tame in comparison to the experiment General Motors conducted in the 1980s with a little company called Bitter.
A Buick Is in Danger
The Buick Cascada, known to Europeans as the Opel Cascada, appeared on North American shores for the 2016 model year, offering buyers (and renters) a pleasant, four-seat replacement for the discontinued Chrysler 200 drop-top.
Now wholly owned by France’s PSA Group, not General Motors, Opel plans to ditch the model once 2019 is up, meaning America stands to lose its last non-sports car convertible. It would also knock the Buick brand down to five models.
Over the First Three Quarters of 2018, Only Four GM Cars Have Anything to Brag About
General Motors joined the vast majority of its automotive colleagues in having a crappy sales month in September, posting an 11.1 percent year-over-year volume loss. The issues facing OEMs last month were many. As interest rates rise and the market cools, automakers looking to capture more for their coffers are trending towards reduced fleet sales and lowered incentive spending. Hurricanes also played something of a role.
At GM, which graces us with sales figures just four times a year, what was likely a poor showing in September dragged down the third quarter as well as year-to-date sales, with volume since the start of the year now down 1.2 percent. That doesn’t mean several GM models didn’t have good quarters, or haven’t had good 2018s. Some 18 models can boast of YTD sales gains.
Of those 18, however, just four are passenger cars, and one member of the group already has one and a half feet in the grave.
Buy/Drive/Burn: American Wagon Life, Circa 1975
Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn setup comes to us via commenter 87 Morgan, who suggested the trio a while ago. For consideration today: Malaise Era transportation for upper middle-class families. These gigantic wagons served as family haulers before the minivan came along and ripped the sculpted carpet from under their feet.
What will it be — the Chrysler, the Mercury, or the Buick?
Spied: The 2020 Buick Encore You've Been Waiting For
Buick’s pint-sized Encore is the brand’s biggest volume generator, accounting for 44 percent of all U.S. Buick sales in the first half of 2018. While hard to imagine for those who just stepped out of the time machine from 1975 (just think if the Skylark was the model holding up the brand), it’s nonetheless a reality we have to live with. Crossovers are king, and crossovers are what’s keeping Buick alive.
The division no doubt wants to keep it that way, which is why there’s an all-new Encore coming for the 2020 model year. Here’s our first glimpse.
2019 Buick Regal Avenir to Start Around $36,000
Buick’s “highest expression of luxury” continues for the 2019 Regal Avenir, a model we recently examined. However, all anyone seemed to care about is how much those fancy plastics and fancier wheels would elevate the base model’s MSRP.
While the long answer involves an explanation that Buick is offering more than just a handful of trim pieces on the Avenir, the short answer is: roughly ten grand. Does it make sense? That depends on what you’re interested in. If it’s improved performance and all-wheel drive, then absolutely not. However, if you just want a more handsome car with some exclusive touches and a bunch of premium features bundled together, you might be interested in the Regal Avenir.
GM Places Gun Against the Head of the Chinese-made Buick Envision
We previously reported that General Motors was seeking an exemption from U.S. tariffs that could affect the domestic wellbeing of the Buick Envision, the brand’s Chinese-made utility vehicle positioned between the Encore and Enclave. At the time, GM hadn’t weighed in on if it would pull the model from the United States if it didn’t get a pass into the country.
Since then, General Motors President Dan Ammanm has said the exception is the only way the automaker sees itself being able to continue selling the model in America. The automaker confirmed that the Envision’s domestic sales are insufficient to rationalize U.S. production but noted GM needed the model to have a complete lineup against brands like Audi, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.
Get Out of China Free Card: GM Wants the Buick Envision to Get a Pass on Import Tariffs
General Motors wants an exemption from a 25 percent U.S. tariff for the Buick Envision, the Chinese-made sport utility positioned between the Encore and Enclave. On Thursday, the automaker said it filed the request on July 30th with the U.S. Trade Representative to exclude the model from the prospective Section 301 tariff on products shipped from China.
The Envision hasn’t been a strong seller in the United States. While it managed to move 41,040 units in 2017, this year is not on track to meet that number. Obviously, the model has had some troubles. Early reviews were unfavorable, often accusing the Envision of being a faux luxury vehicle with an overly ambitious price tag. However, the manufacturer has since dropped the price and updated the vehicle for the 2019 model year.
Unfortunately, enough damage was dealt in those first two years to make the new model look less appetizing to customers. It now holds the stigma of an overpriced, Chinese-made compact crossover that falls short just about everywhere. It needs time to rebuild its image after the refresh, and it won’t be able to manage that if it is taxed into oblivion.