GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,858 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There's been lots of talk about whether Buick is going to try to position itself as the American Lexus. (Did Bob Lutz say actually something along those lines? Can anyone fill in that blank?)

It's a great strategy, if they can pull it off. Making Buick = Lexus would clear space to elevate Cadillac above Lexus, which would be a seriously good thing.

The question is, is Buick up to the task? They definitely have the quality numbers. And it seems that recent models (LaCrosse and Rainier) have emphasised quiet, and mechanical harmony, just like Lexus.

So what does everybody think? Can Buick make that claim without embarassing itself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
I think they can do it. It's all about proving to the public, though, that they're better than Lexus; it's been said before, and I'm going to say it here: GM absolutely CANNOT slip up at all. They've got to start working on getting younger people into their cars and improving all their models.

I wouldn't say they could make it now, but once their entire line gets updated, then they start saying "We're better."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Originally posted by AMcA@Feb 18 2004, 02:12 AM
There's been lots of talk about whether Buick is going to try to position itself as the American Lexus. (Did Bob Lutz say actually something along those lines? Can anyone fill in that blank?)

It's a great strategy, if they can pull it off. Making Buick = Lexus would clear space to elevate Cadillac above Lexus, which would be a seriously good thing.

The question is, is Buick up to the task? They definitely have the quality numbers. And it seems that recent models (LaCrosse and Rainier) have emphasised quiet, and mechanical harmony, just like Lexus.

So what does everybody think? Can Buick make that claim without embarassing itself?
It is possible for Buick to battle Lexus, but highly unlikely, it is going to take a huge comitment from GM and would probably cost too much. I'ts good though that they have set their sites on Lexus. If they can buld cars with the perceived quality of Lexus, and incorporate the sweet Buick style they could have unqualified success. :afro:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Not as long as they rely heavily on "proven" (read "old") engines and 4-speed transmissions in their lineup. They won't be taken seriously as a Lexus competitor until they go all out and abandon aged platforms and technology. I'm not saying that they need the absolute highest tech or high performance technology, but they do need:

1. All-new 5 or 6 speed transmissions (I don't think Buicks need manual transmissions, so this is assuming automatics)
2. Stout, dependable but recently designed DOHC engines for all models. You shouldn't need to shell out bucks for an "Ultra" model just to get an engine that would be standard in a Toyota of a lesser price. 3.6L CTS engine, and 4.4L engine from the Bonneville GXP. If you need a "base" engine for rental sales, then I suppose the 3.5L OHV V6 from the new Malibu would be acceptable since it is new and redesigned. But the Buick Minivan deserves more since it will probably cost a bunch more than a 240 hp Honda Odyssey...
3. All-new platforms
....if they really want to be taken seriously as a Lexus competitor. 80-year olds won't care what is under the hood, but saavy 30 or 40 year old buyers do.

Soundproofing and styling can only take them so far. <_<
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
For Buick to be a real Lexus competitor they need RWD and a sporty car (yes, a sporty Buick dose sound odd). They also need to reach a younger audience, while still keeping their current audience happy. And although I'm happy with their recent quality achievements, they need to raise the bar in styling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,174 Posts
GM is going to have Buick compete and beat Lexus.
GM is putting Three Billion dollars into the revamping of Buick.
The LaCrosse and Rainer are not a part of the revamp. They are improvements but not where GM is going to take Buick.
Think about Caddy and what GM is doing with it.
I am sure we will see Varible Valve, dual overhead cams, five and six speed trannies, better interiors, unique style, and higher prices.
I can't wait to see the results of GM's investment in Buick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Buick won't be in a position to compete with Lexus anytime soon. Their reputation is bad and their cars aren't getting any nicer. GM would need to totally revamp the company and then build a reputation. Based on Lutz's styling decisions alone, I don't think they could pull it off. Anothe downside for Buick is that Lexus is Toyota, which is a company with a very good reputation. IMO, it would take a few years to build Buick back up. It is easy to borrow some good engines and platforms from other GM branches, but styling and reputation won't be easy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,621 Posts
Originally posted by 2004_SRX_@Feb 18 2004, 08:26 PM
Buick won't be in a position to compete with Lexus anytime soon. Their reputation is bad and their cars aren't getting any nicer. GM would need to totally revamp the company and then build a reputation. Based on Lutz's styling decisions alone, I don't think they could pull it off. Anothe downside for Buick is that Lexus is Toyota, which is a company with a very good reputation. IMO, it would take a few years to build Buick back up. It is easy to borrow some good engines and platforms from other GM branches, but styling and reputation won't be easy.
i'd say public perception has swung back up in favor of buick. there's been good press over the past few years of buick quality improvements and of the leagues of satisfied buick repeat buyers.

can buick compete with lexus design-wise? the lacrosse/allure looks promising. the best part is it isn't buicks interpretation of a lexus. it's a BUICK. they're aiming for the same buyers with different design philosophies. i personally think the new buicks should appeal more to north american tastes (or at last i hope so). couple that with the higher quality product buick has been peddling lately and buick will succeed in catching and hopefully surpassing lexus.

GM has to make it about owning a buick, not about not-owning a lexus... and i think they're doing a good job with that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Originally posted by crazywop112@Feb 18 2004, 08:56 PM
A cool RWD car with a turbocharged 3.6 would be a nice addition to buick. Powerful yet different.  :D
Sounds like you want another Grand National sir. Yeah, Buick is the Mercury of GM, we know. I think they should stick with the Le Sabre/ Park Avenue styling wise. It works. The new La Crosse dissapoints me. It doesn't use the all in one break light and the headlights look funky. I think a RWD V8 sedan, like the new 300, is needed. Kinda like the E330 with a V8 at the same price.

GM may not have top quality as the advantage, but they do have engine power and they should take advantage of it. The best V8 toyota has is their tiny 4.7L I believe, which is nothing. I think Buick has a great chance. I just wish that they'd drop Saturn and move some of the cars as rebaged Chevys. Why have Saturn? It's useless. Use Chevy as bottom dollar. Why have two bottom end names? Not to say all Chevy's are like that but most are. It's supposed to go Chevy, Pontiac (sport) or Buick (luxury), then Cadillac. There is no need for Saturn. Just support the brand a few years after it is dead for people that need replacement parts and such.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,493 Posts
Originally posted by StevenJ+Feb 24 2004, 03:30 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (StevenJ @ Feb 24 2004, 03:30 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-crazywop112@Feb 18 2004, 08:56 PM
A cool RWD car with a turbocharged 3.6 would be a nice addition to buick. Powerful yet different.  :D
Sounds like you want another Grand National sir. Yeah, Buick is the Mercury of GM, we know. I think they should stick with the Le Sabre/ Park Avenue styling wise. It works. The new La Crosse dissapoints me. It doesn't use the all in one break light and the headlights look funky. I think a RWD V8 sedan, like the new 300, is needed. Kinda like the E330 with a V8 at the same price.

GM may not have top quality as the advantage, but they do have engine power and they should take advantage of it. The best V8 toyota has is their tiny 4.7L I believe, which is nothing. I think Buick has a great chance. I just wish that they'd drop Saturn and move some of the cars as rebaged Chevys. Why have Saturn? It's useless. Use Chevy as bottom dollar. Why have two bottom end names? Not to say all Chevy's are like that but most are. It's supposed to go Chevy, Pontiac (sport) or Buick (luxury), then Cadillac. There is no need for Saturn. Just support the brand a few years after it is dead for people that need replacement parts and such. [/b][/quote]
i would normaly agree with you but Saturn brings people who would never consiter any other gm product. it's taking sales from toyota and honda.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,519 Posts
Originally posted by paul8488@Feb 18 2004, 08:32 PM

can buick compete with lexus design-wise? the lacrosse/allure looks promising. the best part is it isn't buicks interpretation of a lexus. it's a BUICK.
Wow that shows how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I look at the LaCrosee, I see 90% Lexus GS and 10% Jag. Funny, Lutz was quoted a couple years ago that Buick would be modeled somewhere between Lexus and Jag. I was floored by that comment. It's understandable to make Buick in a mold of an "American Lexus" on the basis of quality, perceived quality, and customer satisfaction. But I had no idea he also wanted to emulate Lexus styling, often criticized as being as bland as a board, with a small dose of Jag to spice it up. Is that the making of a premium American sedan? Buick needs to find some American authenticity as Cadillac has done, but in a more conservative character. If I'd never seen a Lexus GS before, I'd say mission accomplished with LaCrosse. But, GS has been on the market now for several years, and it looks like yesterday's news. That's why I think the LaCrosse is a yawn. :lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,621 Posts
Originally posted by pkd87@Feb 24 2004, 01:48 PM
i would normaly agree with you but Saturn brings people who would never consiter any other gm product. it's taking sales from toyota and honda.
that's the idea behind saturn, but i don't think many toyota or honda customers end up in a saturn. i think maybe hyundai and kia buyers might, but not the japanese. just speculating here, but i don't think saturn ever attained the distinction of toyota/honda killer. actually, i should say i don't think they ever earned it. maybe it's on its way... but chevrolet has just zoomed way ahead, in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,013 Posts
Originally posted by paul8488+Feb 18 2004, 08:32 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (paul8488 @ Feb 18 2004, 08:32 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-2004_SRX_@Feb 18 2004, 08:26 PM
Buick won't be in a position to compete with Lexus anytime soon. Their reputation is bad and their cars aren't getting any nicer. GM would need to totally revamp the company and then build a reputation. Based on Lutz's styling decisions alone, I don't think they could pull it off. Anothe downside for Buick is that Lexus is Toyota, which is a company with a very good reputation. IMO, it would take a few years to build Buick back up. It is easy to borrow some good engines and platforms from other GM branches, but styling and reputation won't be easy.
i'd say public perception has swung back up in favor of buick. there's been good press over the past few years of buick quality improvements and of the leagues of satisfied buick repeat buyers.

can buick compete with lexus design-wise? the lacrosse/allure looks promising. the best part is it isn't buicks interpretation of a lexus. it's a BUICK. they're aiming for the same buyers with different design philosophies. i personally think the new buicks should appeal more to north american tastes (or at last i hope so). couple that with the higher quality product buick has been peddling lately and buick will succeed in catching and hopefully surpassing lexus.

GM has to make it about owning a buick, not about not-owning a lexus... and i think they're doing a good job with that! [/b][/quote]
Yes, but most people still view Buick as the old man's car, while younger people are being lured to Lexus because of the rich image. It'll take awhile before Buick can beat Lexus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,519 Posts
Buick has home-court advantage. If they take advantage of that, instead of trying to recreate a Lexus with a Buick badge, then they can win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,858 Posts
Discussion Starter #18

When I look at the LaCrosee, I see 90% Lexus GS and 10% Jag. Funny, Lutz was quoted a couple years ago that Buick would be modeled somewhere between Lexus and Jag. I was floored by that comment.
I find that report very very disturbing. Desmo, you've completely put your finger on it: the LaCrosse is quite explictly a Jag/Lex-arse halfbreed. And now to hear that Bob Lutz said that, and now this car pops out, it's clearly an intentional strategy. And it's a strategy best used by Kia/Hyundai - indeed, they've become adept at it.

And it's sad to see it applied to a Buick. Really sad. What makes them think that a brand with a rich a heritage as Buick needs to borrow from the (deservedly) storied Jaguar and the (no one's gonna bother with it's story, at least not so far) Lexus? Seriously, they could have hit those targets and still come up with a car that borrowed only from . . . a great source . . . Buick.

Instead, they took a cheap, easy - no, make that cheesy - route out.

Shameful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Originally posted by Canuck@Feb 18 2004, 01:31 PM
One other thing GM needs to fire the Ad Firm who thought the Harley Earl ads were going to work.

You know, I had the same opinion...still do as a matter of fact...Hokey, basically stupid...but guess what? According to the people who's job it is to keep track of those things, for some reason beyond my feeble comprehension it has started to work and car shoppers in significant numbers are starting to respond to it. Go figure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,013 Posts
Originally posted by gtogary+Feb 25 2004, 02:28 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (gtogary @ Feb 25 2004, 02:28 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Canuck@Feb 18 2004, 01:31 PM
One other thing GM needs to fire the Ad Firm who thought the Harley Earl ads were going to work.

You know, I had the same opinion...still do as a matter of fact...Hokey, basically stupid...but guess what? According to the people who's job it is to keep track of those things, for some reason beyond my feeble comprehension it has started to work and car shoppers in significant numbers are starting to respond to it. Go figure. [/b][/quote]
Those ads were such a waste of money. Not many people even know who Harley Earl is!!! Yup, that really got the younger generation back into buying Buicks.. :lol:
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top