No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

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Thread: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

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    No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    The New York Times
    September 20, 2019



    Buick, the rock upon which General Motors was built more than a century ago, appears to be fading in the company’s rearview mirror.

    As of the 2019 model year, the Buick name is no longer stamped across the back of its North American models. In China, where Buick claims most of its sales these days, the “Buick” nameplate disappeared years ago. The brand’s logo is all that’s left, and soon, the company might be gone from the car business altogether — making only S.U.V.s and crossovers.

    It seems that, after 115 years, the name’s image has become too outdated for a company that wants to be thought of as a thoroughly modern “attainable luxury” vehicle in a class with Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln and Lexus, a notch below high-end offerings like Cadillac.

    The company has gone so far as to produce advertisements that explicitly distance the brand from its reputation. “That’s not a Buick” spots were placed in high-profile slots, like the Super Bowl, to drive home the point.

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    Today’s Buicks are arguably not quite Buicks anyway — not in any sense that the founder, the all-but-forgotten David Dunbar Buick, would recognize.

    Buick, the company, effectively ceased to be an automobile manufacturer after 2010, when General Motors shut down its vast “Buick City” manufacturing complex in Flint, Mich. Buick City, once the largest auto factory in the world, had for more than a century produced purebred Buick vehicles, parts and powertrains.

    Since then, Buick dealers’ lots have been filled with a mélange of G.M.-owned vehicles borrowed from Opel, Holden, Daewoo and others, with a Buick badge affixed. So-called badge-engineering is a tried-and-failed G.M. strategy that has been criticized as helping to undermine brands including Oldsmobile, Saturn and Pontiac.

    Today’s Buick-less Buicks still carry a stylized version of the brand’s “tri-shield” logo, which was introduced to highlight its stylish but poor-selling 1959 Electra, Invicta and LeSabre models. The absence of Buick lettering leaves room for the new Avenir badge, which Buick introduced as a “sub-brand” suggesting a higher level of luxury. Some auto analysts expect that Buick will eventually make a full transition to the Avenir name.

    A Buick spokeswoman, Michelle Malcho, wouldn’t comment on that possibility. She did push back on any suggestion that the division might be facing any existential crisis.

    “We see dynamic changes, certainly, but we see opportunities for growth,” she said. “The company is uniquely suited and well positioned for today’s global automotive market.”














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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    As of the 2019 model year, the Buick name is no longer stamped across the back of its North American models.

    It seems that, after 115 years, the name’s image has become too outdated for a company that wants to be thought of as a thoroughly modern “attainable luxury” vehicle in a class with Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln and Lexus, a notch below high-end offerings like Cadillac.

    Some auto analysts expect that Buick will eventually make a full transition to the Avenir name.


    When I think of "Buick", I think of the decades past GM marketing calling their larger sedans "doctor's cars". Certainly out of place today.

    With sales falling both in the United States and China, and with the market for cars falling flat to say the least, a name change might not be a bad idea indeed, considering the alternative may be to shut down the brand.

    Tough call, almost unthinkable I will admit; but the world had changed.









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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    The word Chevrolet has not been “stamped across the back” of Corvettes for years.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Buick's problems aren't the name. Keep rolling out crossovers and give up the cars that no one is buying and it will be fine. Hate to say that because I'm not a CUV buyer, but it's reality. The car share of the market is getting to the point where a lot of makes like Buick are becoming niche players, and niche players are just a drain on resources.

    If they choose to rename Buick, the best option? GMC. Just forget Buick and build out the GMC line and make it GM's Jeep.

    If you do change the name, I think "Avenir" is a terrible choice. It's fine as a model name or an upscale trim name. It's a terrible name for a division.
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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Funny part about this article is that they think Lincoln, Acura, and especially Lexus are beneath high-end (ROTFLMAO) Cadillac. Some needs to alert him to the Current state of Caddy. If I had to put a label on Cadillac, I'd call them the American Infiniti.

    The removal of the Buick nameplate is intentional as hell, what is their intention....no one knows.
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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    My first thought is this is the NY Times, so I immediately question the accuracy of the article.

    But either way, we've seen it for years now - there isn't much room left for near luxury. Mainstream brands now cover near luxury, and luxury brands have dipped into mainstream/near luxury offerings (at least via price) with vehicles like the CLA, A3, 2 & 1 Series, etc..

    I'm not sure that changing the brand name from Buick to Avenier will do much as long as Buick/Avenier stays in the near-luxury segment.

    Either way, I don't want to see it go, Buick does have some of the nicest looking CUV's on the road. I don't think there is much out there that can touch the Enclave.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    If this is true,changing the name won't make a difference if the same dummies behind the "failing" name are still doing the same dumb $H*T.

    10 years away from bankruptcy Buick is a mess,GMC is still drifting out there and Cadillac is more of a hot mess....I don't think it's the names that are the problems (Well except for Caddy's vehicle names).

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Quote Originally Posted by ksr View Post
    Buick's problems aren't the name. Keep rolling out crossovers and give up the cars that no one is buying and it will be fine. Hate to say that because I'm not a CUV buyer, but it's reality. The car share of the market is getting to the point where a lot of makes like Buick are becoming niche players, and niche players are just a drain on resources.

    If they choose to rename Buick, the best option? GMC. Just forget Buick and build out the GMC line and make it GM's Jeep.

    If you do change the name, I think "Avenir" is a terrible choice. It's fine as a model name or an upscale trim name. It's a terrible name for a division.
    I agree, if they are going to re-badge CUVs copy pasted from Chevy and GMC offerings and sell less than 15% of volume as sedan Buick product line (they barely advertise it in any offers or videos), might as well kill the brand.

    GM is too stubborn, or too proud, to kill Cadillac sedans, that's another dead albatross on GM's neck, probably the entire brand needs to go.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    As a kid, my parents couldn't afford a car. It was common in our Chicago neighborhood and we had streetcars and busses for transportation. My Dad always took me to the Chicago Auto Show every year and I became obsessed with Buicks. Yet, I never owned one until late 2107 when I bought my wife a 2107 Regal Turbo sport.

    She loves it!!! She is also a lead foot and I believe she leaves our driveway at 50mph (just kidding).

    It is the perfect car for her trips to the casinos in Tampa or Biloxi. The only flaw was the fact that it did not come with a garage door opener. IT SHOULD HAVE!!

    GM executives need to come out of their offices and mingle with the car buying public. Find out what people really need and give it to them along with top quality.

    Don't change the name, change the quality and the content. I believe I heard the following somewhere ….. When better cars are built, Buick will build them. Make it SO!
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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    My first thought is this is the NY Times, so I immediately question the accuracy of the article.

    But either way, we've seen it for years now - there isn't much room left for near luxury. Mainstream brands now cover near luxury, and luxury brands have dipped into mainstream/near luxury offerings (at least via price) with vehicles like the CLA, A3, 2 & 1 Series, etc..

    I'm not sure that changing the brand name from Buick to Avenier will do much as long as Buick/Avenier stays in the near-luxury segment.

    Either way, I don't want to see it go, Buick does have some of the nicest looking CUV's on the road. I don't think there is much out there that can touch the Enclave.
    And GM is in the perfect to position to capitalize on both markets with Buick and Cadillac. Those two brands should be working together, instead they are competing for the same market share, especially with Cadillac prices being pushed down now. The top end of Buick needs to be the bottom end for Cadillac, ie a base model XT6 should have the same equipment as the Enclave Avenir, the Regal should top out where the CT4 should start.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Takeaway : the New York Times struggles with the concept that a major automotive brand DOESN'T paste it's name across the back of it's vehicles.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Bring out a modern incarnation of the GN and I’ll throw my money at it. What happened to that beautiful concept Avista coupe they had a couple years ago? Build the damn thing!! Make it all black. Stuff the twin turbo V6 and a 6 speed stick with all wheel drive in it and call it the Grand National. I’d hit it in a heartbeat.

    The brand needs CPR or a jolt from a defib.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Buttons View Post
    If this is true,changing the name won't make a difference if the same dummies behind the "failing" name are still doing the same dumb $H*T.

    10 years away from bankruptcy Buick is a mess,GMC is still drifting out there and Cadillac is more of a hot mess....I don't think it's the names that are the problems (Well except for Caddy's vehicle names).
    Pretty much nails it. IIRC the Powers That Be in the silos blamed Pontiac for having no offerings and no Excitement! so they killed that horse. Same with Olds, I think they had a pretty sharp guy in charge near the end but it's the Politbureau Central Planning Committee that effs everything up beyond all repair.

    As for the N'york Slimes, they make stuff up all the time. If their writers' imaginations are the primary source (aka single source, anonymous, lives in make-believe land) then no more need be said.

    Quote Originally Posted by XP300 View Post
    As a kid, my parents couldn't afford a car. It was common in our Chicago neighborhood and we had streetcars and busses for transportation. My Dad always took me to the Chicago Auto Show every year and I became obsessed with Buicks. Yet, I never owned one until late 2107 when I bought my wife a 2107 Regal Turbo sport.

    She loves it!!! She is also a lead foot and I believe she leaves our driveway at 50mph (just kidding).

    It is the perfect car for her trips to the casinos in Tampa or Biloxi. The only flaw was the fact that it did not come with a garage door opener. IT SHOULD HAVE!!

    GM executives need to come out of their offices and mingle with the car buying public. Find out what people really need and give it to them along with top quality.

    Don't change the name, change the quality and the content. I believe I heard the following somewhere ….. When better cars are built, Buick will build them. Make it SO!
    So there are burnout patches all over your driveway? Cool!

    I've advocated for many moons now that the top echelons of GM be forced to go undercover, visit dealers as sales or service customers, go get dirty with the peasants and the peons and LEARN!

    Uhh, wait. You can't learn when you already know everything and your head is so full of knowledge that there's just no more room in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 09W View Post
    Takeaway : the New York Times struggles with the concept that a major automotive brand DOESN'T paste it's name across the back of it's vehicles.
    NYT schtruggles with lots of stuff. Starting with, to paraphrase Shotgun Joe, facts and truth.
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 09-21-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    The real problems with GM is not the names of their vehicles, or the vehicles themselves, it's the m is marketing. They haven't had a good ad in years. What I would do is retire the whole advertising dept and then hire younger people that's in the know.

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    Re: No Longer Unthinkable: Will Buick Get A Name Change?

    Whether you like the current President or not, there is a reason along with the financials aspect that he calls them "The failing New York Times". I think BS like this story has something to do with it. I think if Buick continues to hone it's portfolio and rethink the cars it sells in a manner that will make them enticing to buyers rather than the current debacle they have going on they should be fine. As an aside, I think most of GM desperately needs to hook up with much better quality advertising outlets than they enlist right now even maybe into the area of the corporate think tanks as well.

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