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Buick Needs A Sport Coupe

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by , 02-27-2012 at 09:00 AM (11072 Views)
February 27, 2012
By: Nick Saporito


Earlier today I zoned out thinking about Buick. When you think about it, Buick's brand positioning is a bit muddled as of today. They have everything from a compact sedan to an eight-seat crossover, and a four-cylinder large sedan to the Regal GS. Really, the bandwidth of Buick is getting rather broad, but I don't think that is a big issue for them. Instead, I think they need to broaden it a bit more...with a sport coupe.

My thoughts on Buick tend to defy much of the industry. I personally think Buick has a lot of potential to pick up Gen Y (Millennial) buyers. This generation typically favors premium and defies mainstream, has incredibly fragmented tastes and loves a comeback brand. Buick, oddly, fits that mold remarkably well. Gen Y has also typically been very open-minded to brands, something that certainly cannot be said for their parent's generation.

Of course, at the moment Gen Y probably lacks the purchasing parity to support the Buick brand in North America. However when economic conditions rebound, there will be a vast number of Millennials entering professional careers to put their college degree to work. Young professionals...this is a demographic Buick has tapped before, no?

With Gen Y's historical need for reward and encouragement, they're quite likely to run out and make some form of large purchase to compensate for the years of economic suffering in the Great Recession. Watching their parents' generation slave away at work with minimal proportions and an overall lukewarm quality of life for middle class has also skewed Gen Y to expect more. Again, seems like a great match for Buick.

So why a coupe?

Well, Buick needs an attention getter. A vehicle that will fundamentally surprise consumers. I think the Regal GS has done some of this, but overall Buick has largely kept the car too quiet and what marketing the car has had, was far too timid. Buick's whole "your kind of luxury" theme with their marketing is good, but why can't that theme expand to performance? What if my kind of luxury is performance? It makes me wonder if Cadillac isn't ****-blocking Buick at the product decision table in RenCen.

I hate to use the word "halo vehicle" but that is sort of what I'm getting at here. I'm a believer that more often than not, halo vehicles are useless from a marketing perspective (see: Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, etc.). That said, I think Buick is a unique case. The brand was irrelevant for so long that it needs something simply to make consumers look twice; specifically Gen Y consumers.

My Buick coupe:


  • Alpha Platform (RWD and AWD)
  • 2.0-liter turbo and 6-speed manual standard
  • 2.0-liter turbo with eAssist and 8-speed auto optional
  • 3.6-liter V6 with eAssist and 8-speed auto optional
  • Dramatic design with lots of influence from Riviera Concept (China)
  • Base price of $30,000
  • Market it to young, career-focused college grads


Granted, I don't work for GM, but I can tell you from an insider's perspective that the above configuration is feasible. GM is seriously considering a Chevrolet (Code 130R Concept) on the Alpha platform that starts at about $20,000. In other words: there is no reason Buick can't have an Alpha coupe that starts at $30,000. GM is also going to need more volume out of the Alpha chassis anyway, so here is their chance.

And for the record, I'm not trying to foreshadow anything with the above. That is simply what I would like to see happen at Buick. There are rumblings of a coupe at Buick, but there is NOTHING solid on the product plans for one.

What do you guys thing?
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Comments

  1. FenwickHockey65's Avatar
    Take the Riviera Concept. Drop it on Alpha. Mission accomplished.
  2. rlchv70's Avatar
    Gm definitely needs more coupes.

    But, I wanted to comment on halo vehicles. I don't think they should be considered a marketing tool. Instead, they should be considered a brand builder. They give a brand its character. They give it respect. The result is a better brand identity in the public conciousness.
  3. majicbz07's Avatar
    The Riviera Concept was such a beautiful design that I really think would still be modern today if it were to come out. To me it was one of those concept cars that was such waste to do if you weren't going to actually build, GM please just build it. Whenever I think about Buick that car comes to mind and just get soo upset that it hasn't materialized into something. I hate to use this comparison but I can't help to think about how much kia/hyundai are coming up with so many new models and expanding into different segments.
  4. Engelman's Avatar
    Couldn't agree more,...especially with FenwickHockey65!
  5. John Wilde's Avatar
    This is a great idea, I have been thinking about this too!
  6. aufeder's Avatar
    Watching their parents' generation slave away at work with minimal proportions and an overall lukewarm quality of life for middle class has also skewed Gen Y to expect more. Again, seems like a great match for Buick.
  7. GTG8's Avatar
    Buick needs to go.
    Cadillac can do the same thing as GMC and Chevrolet.
    An affordable Luxury Brand is an Oxymoron.
  8. Hanscholo's Avatar
    whatever u guys choose to make for Buick in this segment should have a v6 turbo just like the gnx, u could use the current 3.6 and add a turbo
  9. Twarawatonga's Avatar
    There is no way Buick is getting a RWD coupe
  10. pontiacolds16's Avatar
    FF with AWD option mid-size coupe for 37k with 300 plus hp... think a larger Audi A5 or g37.
    Updated 09-13-2012 at 11:29 PM by pontiacolds16
  11. chevyman18's Avatar
    I really like what buick has done since the new lacrosse came out a few yrs back. I also think they are missing that performance car that I think every brand should have. I cant think of a better nameplate than the riviera to do that on.
  12. SavoieRF's Avatar
    Alpha Platform (RWD and AWD)
    2.0-liter turbo and 6-speed manual standard
    2.0-liter turbo with eAssist and 8-speed auto optional
    3.6-liter V6 with eAssist and 8-speed auto optional
    Dramatic design with lots of influence from Riviera Concept (China)
    Base price of $30,000
    Market it to young, career-focused college grads
    This sounds a lot like the ATS's mission!
  13. MrJMS350's Avatar
    GM has quite a few sport coupes, (More than anything else actually) like the Corvette, CTS-V, Camaro, Cobalt SS, and discontinued ones like the Cadillac XLR-V, and the Pontiac Solstice...
    Updated 07-05-2013 at 05:13 PM by MrJMS350
  14. XtremWize's Avatar
    What about the new big Opel / Vauxhall Monza concept (Frankfurt, September 18, 2013)[IMG]http://***********.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Vauxhall-Monza-Coupe-Concept-1.jpg[/IMG]
  15. Ed Arcuri's Avatar
    GM has a number of coupes - all Chevrolets - with no room in the backseat. I would buy a Riviera with room enough for grownups in back.
    My Cadillac has passed 221,000 miles. I will need to replace it. GM presently offers no must have car.
    A real Riviera - not a minicar - would be just such a car.
    Ed.
  16. anthonybest1's Avatar
    GM Should have totally re structured the Buick Brand. The Name Regal should have been dropped and it should have been uniform all around the world as the Buick Insignia. Yes the "Waterfall" grill is nice but Buick should use the Opel Grill. It's classy and sporty like a high end Acura. There should be a wider variety of option configurations. Like a BMW or VW. A 6 speed manual, a tube diesel, All Wheel Drive, Leather or No leather, Sunroof or no Sunroof. And Remote start!!!! My god I could scream because my 2011 Regal doesn't and "can't" have the factory remote start upgrade done. We all know it can just someone hasn't made a program for it yet. It's from germany so it will never have remote start. Hello It's almost 2016 anything is possible!!! The Cruze is another one that is so limited. You want a diesel here it is 1 trim lever, 1 transmission option, 1 rim option and so on. Why can't there be a Cruze LS Manual shift Diesel with a sunroof, cruise, power windows, locks, mirrors and remote start. I know lots who would buy that. The Buick CASCADA is AWESOME!!! Good call GM. Now offer it in a manual shift and different seating configurations like 4 or 5 passenger, hard or soft top and don't forget the remote start!! We are in North America remember? All in All I'm a diehard GM enthusiast. I'm 37 years old and I've always had a GM. I would like to see more option selection and less packages 1LS, 2LS, 1LT, 2LT, 1LTZ, 2LTZ lol you know what I mean! Just have a car and add whatever you like to it. If anything have 3 levels, LS, LT and LTZ. An LS can have cruise and a diesel, Alloy wheels, Sunroof and a manual shift, fog lights, heated Seats and spoiler if the customer wants it. LT gives you the option of leather, nicer interior details, HID or LED head lights and a Turbo engine. The LTZ has just about everything. GM should bring every Opel over to North America. I love the european cars. I wonder if Opel would sell here? Like a BMW 300 series, Would a Regal Coupe and convertible fly?
  17. ejfx's Avatar
    and we continue to wait ...

    I wish GM would remember that coupes always cost more than the sedan ... the extra cost is to pay for the extra tooling costs.

    GM makes money on coupes ... just not enough ... they cant be bothered ... they dont think its worth the effort to make a handful of car buyers happy.

    I have a problem ... my old Pontiac wont last for ever and there is nothing on their dealership lots I'm interested in purchasing ... this is a huge problem because I only purchase GM vehicles ... I cant wait forever...

    Shame on you GM for doing nothing to replace Pontiac ... Buick could have handled it !