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The Detroit News
December 1, 2022

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GM Concept Car: Buick Wildcat

General Motors Co.’s oldest brand, Buick, is pushing to reinvent itself with an all-electric future that experts say could spark new interest from would-be customers who never looked its way — if the plan works.

“Electrification really is one of the only things that’s going to help bring the brand back to life,” said Ivan Drury, director of insights for Edmunds.com Inc., a vehicle information website. ”Really, in the end, the one thing that virtually anyone's willing to roll the dice on is on an EV.”

Long-time Buick enthusiasts are hopeful the transition keeps the historic name alive. Dealers, meanwhile, are weighing whether to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their shops and bet on Buick's move to go all-electric by 2030 — or accept a buyout from GM.

Buick in June showcased its Wildcat EV concept vehicle and announced a “brand transformation that will fully electrify its lineup in North America, led by a new badge and brand identity.” The brand also said Buick’s future EV products will carry the Electra name from the brand’s past. “It's bringing that old thing back that all of a sudden sounds new,” Laethem said. “I'm very pumped about it.”

Buick is still battling the stigma of not being the vehicle for younger generations, a stigma Buick has been battling for years to shed. It launched the “That’s not a Buick” campaign in the 2010s and later nixed all of its sedans in the U.S. to concentrate on SUVs and crossovers.

“I think we've proven that we have been at the forefront of changing trends in the industry, sedans to SUVs … our announcement to an all-EV future again, just keeps us at the forefront of what's happening in the industry,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice president, Buick and GMC, in an interview.
 

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There are currently 2,000 Buick dealers in the United States. I think success for the revised brand will come down to how many of those dealers will take the GM buyout offer, and how many will stay in business. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, this brand of vehicles is currently on borrowed time.
 

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Electric success, will hinge on Dealers. Which Buick has and well Tesla does not. EV Hype will fade, and fueling that Fade, will be Battery Pack Replacement, Recalls due to Battery Packs, Charge Station Shortfalls/Shortages and Charge Time The Grid, and of course the Biggest, Vehicles like Honda's CR-V Hydrogen 2024.

Elon has already capitalized on the BEV Hype, made it work some what, but the lack of Tesla Service Centers, and the fact that they Explode if Flooded in Salt water, well Even Tesla will face Challenges staying in the Game.
 

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If they can capitalize on the change to BEV in a way that Cadillac appears to have done with the Lyriq then I think they have a shot at bringing in more customers. They used the Lyriq to not just give us more of the same just with BEV, but a whole new styling direction inside and out - they need to do that to Buick.
 

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'Electrification' is NOT the answer, if everyone is moving along with them.
General Motors has placed some truly stellar product in all other Divisions... except Buick.

If ever GM was going to Pull the Big Trigger; now's the time to give Buick a killer production concept vehicle. Buick's done it multiple times in the past, it's time again.
 

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I used to think that there were too many divisions in GM that sold cars that were too similar to each other, often marketed to the same people. I predicted that we'd be down to Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. Chevy would lose the Silverado and GMC would handle all the trucks. Chevy would span entry level to Buick-level-ish models, Cadillac would take over from there. Now, years later, Buick doesn't really bring anything to the American market, not after the death of all of its cars. Now it just sells cushy, pricier Chevys. A shame really. My first car was a Buick Skylark.
 

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No. "Going electric" isn't going to "save" any brand. Not Buick. Not Cadillac.
Everyone is moving forward with electrification.

What's going to "save" a brand is a focus on high quality vehicles and a focus on strengthening the brand.
Right now, Genesis is steamrolling over Buick's market and gunning for Cadillac.

I honestly think Buick is all but a lost cause in the US. They've been starved of product for some time now. And the product they have isn't that good. NO... Enclave isn't enough to keep a brand afloat.

Because to "save" Buick, GM is going to do what it always does — create a "lower cost" competitor to X-brand (in this case Genesis). But in order to meet that number, it doesn't come close to Genesis in terms of quality, refinement, etc etc etc.

Cadillac is trying to save itself with Lyriq. And it's a good step. The jury is still out on Celestiq.
 

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No. "Going electric" isn't going to "save" any brand. Not Buick. Not Cadillac.
Everyone is moving forward with electrification.

What's going to "save" a brand is a focus on high quality vehicles and a focus on strengthening the brand.
Right now, Genesis is steamrolling over Buick's market and gunning for Cadillac.

I honestly think Buick is all but a lost cause in the US. They've been starved of product for some time now. And the product they have isn't that good. NO... Enclave isn't enough to keep a brand afloat.

Because to "save" Buick, GM is going to do what it always does — create a "lower cost" competitor to X-brand (in this case Genesis). But in order to meet that number, it doesn't come close to Genesis in terms of quality, refinement, etc etc etc.

Cadillac is trying to save itself with Lyriq. And it's a good step. The jury is still out on Celestiq.
You bring up a good comparison in that Buick should be more like Genesis. Buick will die if they continue to be a slightly nicer Chevy. When you see a new Genesis SUV on the road it clearly looks like a premium product. My wife will even ask “what is that” when a Genesis drives by. Buick needs to aim for the same reactions.

Design will be crucial but Buick needs to be much nicer than Chevy. There’s plenty of room between Chevy and Cadillac to be much higher quality than Chevy without being as pricey as Cadillac.

If I didn’t know who produced the Wildcat above I would guess Audi or Genesis. It’s super clean with a ton of character and no bulky chrome. The entire car looks shrink wrapped around the mold similar to the trend Audi made famous with their S5.

If they produced the Wildcat it would be my first Buick since the Grand National. That would be 37 model years for a GM fan to go without a Buick.
 

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I used to think that there were too many divisions in GM that sold cars that were too similar to each other, often marketed to the same people. I predicted that we'd be down to Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. Chevy would lose the Silverado and GMC would handle all the trucks. Chevy would span entry level to Buick-level-ish models, Cadillac would take over from there. Now, years later, Buick doesn't really bring anything to the American market, not after the death of all of its cars. Now it just sells cushy, pricier Chevys. A shame really. My first car was a Buick Skylark.
Cushy Pricer Daewoo's.

Not only has Buick lost it's Entry Level Luxury Car image, it has also lost it's Made in North America title.
 

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You bring up a good comparison in that Buick should be more like Genesis. Buick will die if they continue to be a slightly nicer Chevy. When you see a new Genesis SUV on the road it clearly looks like a premium product. My wife will even ask “what is that” when a Genesis drives by. Buick needs to aim for the same reactions.

Design will be crucial but Buick needs to be much nicer than Chevy. There’s plenty of room between Chevy and Cadillac to be much higher quality than Chevy without being as pricey as Cadillac.

If I didn’t know who produced the Wildcat above I would guess Audi or Genesis. It’s super clean with a ton of character and no bulky chrome. The entire car looks shrink wrapped around the mold similar to the trend Audi made famous with their S5.

If they produced the Wildcat it would be my first Buick since the Grand National. That would be 37 model years for a GM fan to go without a Buick.
I'm not going to get my hopes up about the Wildcat. I think using the Wildcat name is a signal that it is purely a design exercise, I don't think Wildcat concepts have ever had anything similar make it to production in the past 50 or so year. Plus, all that detailing, etc - that is no $60k car as shown - probably be a $100k+ vehicle if they produced it. But hopefully they can capture some of that design excitement in a more affordable package (unless they plan to take Buick upmarket as a Genesis competitor as you noted, which I doubt).
 

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Try as the revisionists may, Cadillac doesn't remotely need "saving". The brand is riding decades-long peak with some excellent product and garnering good pricing numbers. Cadillac has cred where it never had before (despite some folk being wildly confused by the brand's catalog).

People like to bag on Buick cause it's off their radar, but these folk have never HAD Buick on their radar. Buick has been moving 10 times the product Genesis has over the last decade, only the last 2 COVID years have they slipped under 200K. My Dad bought his 4th Buick last year. Buick has an excellent quality reputation and fits a niche well that everyone else is ignoring. Still, it certainly could use a sharp stand-out (like how the Grand National stomped onto the scene. I have hope that this leaner General Motors will do as I stated above; and give Buick a leading edge product again.
 

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You bring up a good comparison in that Buick should be more like Genesis. Buick will die if they continue to be a slightly nicer Chevy. When you see a new Genesis SUV on the road it clearly looks like a premium product. My wife will even ask “what is that” when a Genesis drives by. Buick needs to aim for the same reactions.
All GM needs to do is figure out how and where Buick fits into the US market. And go for it.
They haven't really done that. And it's something that will take time, and we all know GM has problems allowing things to bake properly before trying something new.

Just look at Genesis — From Equus to Hyundai Genesis to Genesis as a brand. 7 years after the brand was founded, they have G90, which tries to challenge the German flagships. That's insanity. Meanwhile, it's been 22+ years since Cadillac started Art & Science, and the results have been inconsistent at best.

I've been very skeptical of Genesis. But they're getting it. GV70 is impressive — at least 80% that of Macan — and more luxurious too. They're finding their niche.

Design will be crucial but Buick needs to be much nicer than Chevy. There’s plenty of room between Chevy and Cadillac to be much higher quality than Chevy without being as pricey as Cadillac.
Buick's designs are there. It's just a matter of getting people in this country to look its way.
It's the same problem Genesis is trying to overcome.

If I didn’t know who produced the Wildcat above I would guess Audi or Genesis. It’s super clean with a ton of character and no bulky chrome. The entire car looks shrink wrapped around the mold similar to the trend Audi made famous with their S5.

If they produced the Wildcat it would be my first Buick since the Grand National. That would be 37 model years for a GM fan to go without a Buick.
I love the Wildcat's design. But the chances of that making it to the US? China maybe. But the US seems to get all the scraps these days. And that's unfortunate.
 

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All GM needs to do is figure out how and where Buick fits into the US market. And go for it.
They haven't really done that. And it's something that will take time, and we all know GM has problems allowing things to bake properly before trying something new.

Just look at Genesis — From Equus to Hyundai Genesis to Genesis as a brand. 7 years after the brand was founded, they have G90, which tries to challenge the German flagships. That's insanity. Meanwhile, it's been 22+ years since Cadillac started Art & Science, and the results have been inconsistent at best.

I've been very skeptical of Genesis. But they're getting it. GV70 is impressive — at least 80% that of Macan — and more luxurious too. They're finding their niche.

Buick's designs are there. It's just a matter of getting people in this country to look its way.
It's the same problem Genesis is trying to overcome.

I love the Wildcat's design. But the chances of that making it to the US? China maybe. But the US seems to get all the scraps these days. And that's unfortunate.
Brands cannot live on scraps alone. I would think that the Wildcat is a good start. What else do they get, a large, stretched sedan? Crossovers that may compete with Cadillac's? Cadillac would need to go to a higher price point.

Buick needs a plan. We used to have people in this site create great visions of a line up for each GM. I hardly know what to do with Buick. And what happens when they are sold with GMC in the same spot? Anybody? Buehler, Buehler?
 

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All GM needs to do is figure out how and where Buick fits into the US market. And go for it.
They haven't really done that. And it's something that will take time, and we all know GM has problems allowing things to bake properly before trying something new.

Just look at Genesis — From Equus to Hyundai Genesis to Genesis as a brand. 7 years after the brand was founded, they have G90, which tries to challenge the German flagships. That's insanity. Meanwhile, it's been 22+ years since Cadillac started Art & Science, and the results have been inconsistent at best.

I've been very skeptical of Genesis. But they're getting it. GV70 is impressive — at least 80% that of Macan — and more luxurious too. They're finding their niche.



Buick's designs are there. It's just a matter of getting people in this country to look its way.
It's the same problem Genesis is trying to overcome.



I love the Wildcat's design. But the chances of that making it to the US? China maybe. But the US seems to get all the scraps these days. And that's unfortunate.
I don’t really think their designs are there yet. I think GM is treating Buick like it’s Pontiac in the U.S. Just slightly better than Chevy. We all know how that turned out.
 
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