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Buick, Mercury see revival ahead with new models
Reuters
By Justin Hyde

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Buick and Mercury, two storied American automotive brands that have been marked for extinction over the past decade, showed off their plans for revival on Wednesday with all-new sedans aimed at reversing years of sales declines.

General Motors Corp. unveiled the Buick LaCrosse mid-size sedan at the Chicago auto show Wednesday, a replacement for Buick's Regal and Century sedans that aims to offer the refinement of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus cars at a lower price.

A few hours later, Ford Motor Co. took the wraps off the Mercury Montego sedan, a mechanical twin of the Ford Five Hundred due to go into production later this year.

The two brands were once key players for decades in the U.S. market, filling a gap between entry-level and luxury vehicles -- the typical "doctor's car" to many American customers.

Both saw their sales and influence fall over the past 20 years as foreign automakers won buyers in the United States and financial turmoil at GM and Ford left them with uncompetitive lineups and an aging customer base. Last year, Buick sales fell 22 percent, while Mercury sales fell 23 percent.

Now, as GM and Ford's finances have improved, Buick and Mercury will attempt to gain back some of their lost appeal, offering near-luxury vehicles at lower prices.

"American volume brands ... can not command, even if they're better cars, the same sticker prices as the higher-end imports," said GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

"The only way we're going to get market share back is by offering superior value, giving the customer much, much more for their money. That's the way the Japanese took all the share away from us, and that's the only way we're going to get it back."

GM plans to use Buick to fill roles that Cadillac and the dying Oldsmobile brand use to play. Cadillac is moving upscale -- Lutz says no Cadillac will carry a sticker price of less than $30,000 -- allowing Buick to lure buyers in the $25,000 to $30,000 range.

Mercury's role for Ford is similar. A few years ago, industry observers expected Ford to kill Mercury, and the brand had no new vehicles in development. But Mercury provided the volume that keeps Ford's Lincoln brand dealers in business, and Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. vowed to keep the brand viable with new models.

GM North America president Gary Cowger said on Wednesday that GM would spend $3 billion over the next five years on new vehicles for Buick, possibly including a rear-wheel-drive sedan and a convertible.

Lutz said the LaCrosse was engineered to mimic the luxury impression of a Lexus, with tight gaps between body panels and an interior that blocked more noise than any vehicle GM has ever tested.

In addition to the Montego, Ford will give Mercury a version of its new Freestyle sport utility vehicle. A new Mercury minivan went on sale a few months ago, and the Mercury Mariner small SUV will hit showrooms later this year.

Daryl Hazel, head of the Lincoln-Mercury division, said his goal was to get Mercury thriving by 2005, when it will have seven models in its showrooms. But he noted that where Mercury once held 7 percent of the U.S. market, it now holds 2 percent.

"That kills me when I think about all the work we did," Hazel said. "That kills me."

Article Here


 

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These brands, esp. Buick can come back and roar into the market, with fresh new models that inspire luxury and are fresh!!!
Buick is said to add 4 more models: WHAT BOB LUTZ SAID at Chicago
<span style='color:red'>A flagship RWD Sedan- Park Avenue replacement
A Full-size sedan- LeSabre replacement

An elegant converible- to be shown at NY auto Show
New Lamba based Crossover- replaces Rendezvous</span>

Buick is making a TREMENDOUS effort, they will REPLACE EVERY MODEL, and have a new CSV van
Terraza
Lacrosse- Regal & Century

Know I would buy a Lacrosse with an optional NAV. SYSTEM!!
WILL it have one??
 

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reading about Buicks future sounds promising. i know you need to learn to crawl before you can walk. but when buick gets back on there feet is there gonna be some performance buicks?
 

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well with that RWD entering that sounds kind of promising.

so when do we get to see all these new modles? im not saying the lacross is hidious, but i hope the new modles push the evelope a little more.
 

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Originally posted by cyboexpo2002@Feb 8 2004, 07:11 PM
I thought the vert was a concept only...
i think its a concept of a production car. but im not sure. all i know is im dying to see these cars. when is NY? april right?
 

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Originally posted by Smilingoat+Feb 8 2004, 07:32 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Smilingoat @ Feb 8 2004, 07:32 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-cyboexpo2002@Feb 8 2004, 07:11 PM
I thought the vert was a concept only...
i think its a concept of a production car. but im not sure. all i know is im dying to see these cars. when is NY? april right? [/b][/quote]
Yeah the NY auto show is April from 9-19

GM cars said to be there only 2 I know of, what else?

Cadillac STS
Buick convertible concept

Non GM vehicles
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee
 

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Originally posted by Smilingoat@Feb 8 2004, 02:02 PM
well with that RWD entering that sounds kind of promising.

so when do we get to see all these new modles? im not saying the lacross is hidious, but i hope the new modles push the evelope a little more.
hardly,

their core customers could care less about whether or not the car is RWD or FWD because most of them are older individuals who think driving over the speed should be automatic jail time.
 

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Well I think to many people are hung up on the LaCrosse's looks as it doesnt fit some edgy design or whatever you guys wanted? I think it looks very good as-is and its very buick. Luxury for the every day man. '
I also hope that a navi package is going to be an option in the buick. If not, that will be a big miss. GM needs to spend more money on gadgets after they get there footing here. I hope to see some more do-dads after this year on all the upcoming cars.
 

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I feel very positively about the resurgence of Chevrolet and Cadillac; their products are fabulous (and as I always say, the C6 is breath-taking!).

However, I'm quite skeptical of Buick's resurgence: if the Terraza and LaCrosse are any indication, Buick can expect sales to be flat, at most. Compared to Chevrolet and Cadillac, Buick's renaissance is off to a slow start.
 

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well, they need some more models. The LaCrosse is an excellent replacement for the regal and century, but Buick needs more new models. That flagship RWD sedan and the new LeSabre are going to take time to develop.
 

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Originally posted by Hunter@Feb 8 2004, 11:24 PM
well, they need some more models. The LaCrosse is an excellent replacement for the regal and century, but Buick needs more new models. That flagship RWD sedan and the new LeSabre are going to take time to develop.
How long could it take for the LeSabre and Park Avenue replacements?

2-3 years??
No matter how it takes I hope they are nice
Lacrosse is a great car and is beautiful
Terraza is also a nice Town & Country competitor
 

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Originally posted by babershah@Feb 8 2004, 11:44 PM
How long could it take for the LeSabre and Park Avenue replacements?

2-3 years??
No matter how it takes I hope they are nice
Lacrosse is a great car and is beautiful
Terraza is also a nice Town & Country competitor
Keep in mind just how many of GM's line-up is in need of replacement. They only have so much money (most of which seems to be givin away in rebates & such) to work with & Cadillac & Chevrolet are recieving most of it right now. Cars are getting all of the attention with trucks getting revamped in a few years. Be patiant, I think that by 2010 if things continue as they are now we'll be seeing a very differant GM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Park Avenue looks nice, but the price is way too high for a supercharged 3800 engine under the hood.

For the kind of dough they are asking, the "Ultra" should have an engine that matches the $$$ -- preferably the one in the Bonneville GXP.
 

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[Quote BABERSHAH]
"Lacrosse is a great car and is beautiful
Terraza is also a nice Town & Country competitor"



I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but are you insane?

I went to the Chicago Show and saw the Lacrosse and the Terraza--

Lacrosse is pathetic rehash of the "new" Grand Prix, itself an OLD W-Body --
It's like the folks at Buick said "Well all we have is chassis from the early 90's so lets do the absolute minimum we can!" -- So what does the public get? A 1996 Ford Taurus with a Buick badge in the oval. Pathetic, I mean really pathetic. And the Terraza looks like a frigging Hyundai.

BUICK - YOU'RE DONE! The Lacrosse and the Terraza are just the nails in the coffin.
 

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The new Lesabre will probably be out in 05 as an 06 and the Park replacement a year after. I hear a lot of people bashing Buick styling but keep in mind that they are not targeting 20 year olds. They are trying to keep current Buick buyers from defecting and at the same time lower the age group a bit. If they were to totally go thru a huge changeover thay would end up just like Oldsmobile. I like the Lacrosse and the Terrazza and I believe both these models will at the least start bringing in new customers as the Rendezvous and Rainier are doing. And lets not forget that Buick ranks higher than any other domestic brand in long term dependibilty. That's something worth talking about.
 

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I was just at the big autoshow with a friend and we checked out just about every car in there. I proceeded to show him the Park Ave Ultra and a loaded LeSabre. His first reaction was a gasp at the price of the Ultra... $43K!!! He then sat inside and right away noticed how loose the optional center console was and how the headliner in front of the moonroof pulled down about 2 inches in a real flimsy fashion! Then he noticed that the Ultra was powered by the same old 3800 V6! Embaressed we then checked out the LeSabre custom with optional leather and bestseller package. That one was almost $30k and thankfully no loose console or moonroof. But he did notice the lack of rear heat ducts, seat back map pockets, rear seat fold down armrest and door map pockets. And this car was 30 large! He then showed me a Kia Amanti and a Hyundai XG350. The interiors were very nice with no loose consoles, very sturdy headliners and both cars has rear vents for heat, a fold down armrest and map pockets! And both had a dohc V6 with 200 hp. I then said how much? The XG 350 was priced at $26189 for a fully equipped "L" model and the Kia was $25995 for the base version with roof. My point here is that Buick has a lot of work to do to be competitive in this market. And it needs to desperately to improve it's quality control. This isn't the 80's anymore, my friend said and GM needs to get off it's high horse and come down to reality.
 

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Originally posted by babershah@Feb 8 2004, 11:55 AM

Buick is said to add 4 more models: WHAT BOB LUTZ SAID at Chicago
<span style='color:red'>A flagship RWD Sedan- Park Avenue replacement
A Full-size sedan- LeSabre replacement

An elegant converible- to be shown at NY auto Show
New Lamba based Crossover- replaces Rendezvous</span>
WAIT... What???
Flagship RWD sedan to replace teh Park Avenue?? Yikes. That's coming awwwwwfully close to the DTS/STS market.
Buick convertible, huh? Hmmm
 

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Originally posted by mgescuro+Feb 10 2004, 02:37 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (mgescuro @ Feb 10 2004, 02:37 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-babershah@Feb 8 2004, 11:55 AM

Buick is said to add 4 more models: WHAT BOB LUTZ SAID at Chicago
<span style='color:red'>A flagship RWD Sedan- Park Avenue replacement
A Full-size sedan- LeSabre replacement

An elegant converible- to be shown at NY auto Show
New Lamba based Crossover- replaces Rendezvous</span>
WAIT... What???
Flagship RWD sedan to replace teh Park Avenue?? Yikes. That's coming awwwwwfully close to the DTS/STS market.
Buick convertible, huh? Hmmm [/b][/quote]
:blink: I have not heard anything about a vert to be at NY.....hmmm ;)
 
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