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This is the question that's on everybody's mind. Can GM save Buick to begin with? I believe the answer to that question is a definite yes, and I believe I know how.

GM's current plan is a simple one: have Chevy and Cadillac anchor the company down, and use Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Saturn, Saab, and Hummer to fill in the blank spots where the company needs product. Now, because of the number of brands this is naturally hard to do, but I believe GM can if the execs can choose which models come and go intelligently and not emotionally. If Buick has a Skylark, Regal, Century, LaCrosse, Lucerne, LeSabre, Park Avenue, Enclave, Invicta, Electra, Wildcat, Roadmaster, and Riviera, the company is surely overdoing it. The companies must now decide which names will stay and which will go in the "new Buick."

So, first, let's take a look at what spots need filled that Buick can take:
Luxurious FWD mid-size: With the Malibu holding up the low side, and Aura in the middle, the FWD Epsilon II needs a luxury vehicle. Buick has several naming options for this car, including Regal, Century, LaCrosse, and Invicta. Century needs to go, it's been far too damaged by Buick's "old people era." It's my opinion that Regal would be the best choice out of Regal, Invicta, and LaCrosse, but that's just me. I'll let the marketing execs decide that one.

Luxurious RWD compact sedan: Even if the Cadillac BLS comes to our shores, a smaller sedan will be needed in the luxury RWD segment. In comes the Buick Skylark, which is really the only existing name that can be given to the compact Buick. This is Buick's "entry-level" vehicle, showing young buyers what the brand is really about.

Luxury RWD mid-full size: Yes, we have the CTS, but it doesn't really compete well with the Lexus GS or SC. This is where the Velite and Velite based Wildcat sedan come in. These are the "sporty Buicks." I believe Electra would also be a solid name for the convertible Velite, but, once again, that'll be left up to the marketing gurus.

Flagship: FWD or RWD... this one isn't easy to decide. It's my opinion, however, that any luxury companies flagship should be RWD, and Buick should be no exeption. This shouldn't go against the DTS, as it will be considerably less pricy, and less sporty. The "Roadmaster," as I call it, is all about comfort, and the top of the line "Roadmaster Park Avenue" even more so. Park Avenue itself could also work as a name, but I believe this one is also too damaged from the old people era.

Personal Luxury: Finally, what would Buick be without a Riviera? All about a comfortable ride for the driver, the Riviera will be built on the Roadmaster's Zeta platform.

With the Enclave, I believe this small lineup of models will allow Buick to effectively be "GM's Lexus," allowing Caddy to move further upmarket. Only time will tell if Buick can truly shake it's stigma and appeal to young buyers again, but I believe great cars and solid marketing can surely bring Buick back to what it once was.
 

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That makes too much sense, we know GM won't do that!

The name "Electra" should be used on Buick's largest model. I think that the name "Roadmaster" was just as damaged as Century and Park Avenue... I love full size RWD cars but the stock Roadmaster sedan was a bit too geriatric for me. The wagon looked nice however and I have seen sedans that were nicely modified.
 

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How about having an affordable Buick along the lines of the entry-lux Korean cars, something not too big and ponderous to handle - something that will get aspiring young middle class folks into a Buick.

I hate to admit it, but after seeing the 4-cylinder Saturn Aura, a car like that just might do the trick, if not blanderized and geriatric like so many Buick products of yore. I hate GM's tendency to reskin across brands, but I've come to accept it.

Styling of a Lexus with a bit more chrome, and the mechanicals of the Saturn Aura / Chevy Malibu -- starting with (GASP) a 4-cylinder entry model. The shock of it! Who'd do such a thing with gas prices where they are now? V6's forever~! (kidding)

If Buick can't get more young buyers loyal to the brand, then give up now.
 

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Good concept, but a bit too many models for the Pontiac-Buick-GMC franchise, I think that Buick really does not need a compact RWD car, especially since Pontiac is going to get a possible RWD G6 replacement.

I like the Regal name for the LaCrosse replacement, though Invicta also works well, whatever they pick, it needs to be something that could be on cars sold in the US/Canada and elsewhere, no more of this stupid LaCrosse/Allure waste of marketing 2 different names for different cars. There are some that say that Buick has spent too much on the LaCrosse name to dump it, well, Buick spent 30 years on the Regal name and it dumped it, I imagine that in a survey on non-car people, names like Regal, Century and Riviera would be more closely associated with Buick than LaCrosse, Lucerne and Rendezvous.


LaCrosse replacement-(Invicta-Regal et al): In a perfect world I would resurect the Century name for the sedan version and save the Regal for the coupe and convertible versions(Velite?)

Lucerne Replacement-(LeSabre-Centurion)????-Big question mark here, I am not sure if there should or should'nt be one. Could moving he LaCrosse replacement slightly upmarket in price, features and technology close the gap between the LaCrosse and a Zeta based high end Buick sedan? An Avalon fighter?

I have never considered the Lucerne a Park Avenue replacement, to me it is a LeSabre replacement, I neve thought it was high end enough. The question is, is there room for a FWD Lamba base or even larger Epsilon based sedan in the Buick line up?


High-End Sedan-(Electra-Park Avenue?) I have a feeling that they will go with Park Avenue for the Lucerne replacement since they brought it out of retirement for the Chinese market. This should be a RWD Zeta based car, It will probably be a large sedan only, though I would not object to the notion of an Estate Wagon.

High End Coupe-(Riviera)-A RWD Zeta based co-flagship to sell alongside the Lucerne, I would imagine that the goal would be to share as much as possible with the Zeta sedan but use a slightly smaller wheelbase and it's own unique styling of course.


"Thepsilon" based small SUV-(Rendezvous?)an junior 5 seater Enclave.


Enclave-Perfect as is for now.
 

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Styling of a Lexus with a bit more chrome, and the mechanicals of the Saturn Aura /
Chevy Malibu -- starting with (GASP) a 4-cylinder entry model. The shock of it! Who'd do such a thing with gas prices where they are now? V6's forever~! (kidding)
Essentially what wou are describing would be the new LaCrosse replacement with a 4 banger.

Why "create" yet another model? Fill this niche by offering something like the a Direct Injected 2.0 litre or 2.4 with the 6 speed automatic in the LaCrosse replacement?

Anything more "downmarket" than that can be satisfied with an Aura or Malibu.
 

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You are making Buick into another Cadillac!
I think it is OK for Buick to continue having FWD cars in its lineup.

How about having an affordable Buick along the lines of the entry-lux Korean cars, something not too big and ponderous to handle - something that will get aspiring young middle class folks into a Buick.
Something like the Azure would work for Buick, that where Buick should be.

does Buick need saving?
NA Buick, Yes
China Buick, No
 

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Delta II Skylark FWD
CX/CXL 2.4 DI 200 HP
CXS 2.8 DI 240 HP
$25,000-$38,000
Your TSX competitor but smoother, a crusier but not a boat current Saab 9-3 size.

Epsilon II Invicta FWD/AWD
CX/CXL 3.2 DI 275 HP
CXS/ULTRA 3.6 DI 315 HP AWD
$38,000-$54,000
No cloth bench seats with hubcaps a luxury brand should be luxury nothing less (see concept).

Zeta Electra RWD
CXL 4.4 ULTRA 370 HP
CXS/ULTRA 4.8 Ultra 400 HP
$55,000-$80,000
I realize Ultra was shelved, but it is needed to truly compete. LS and future RL competition.

Enclave enhanced Lambda FWD/AWD
CX/CXL 3.6 DI 290 HP
CXS/ULTRA 3.6 DI 315 HP
$40,000-$58,000
Taken more upscale to true luxury levels. Three row captains chairs like concept standard on ULTRA.

Zeta Riveria RWD
CXS/ULTRA 4.8 Ultra 400 HP
$75,000-$95,000
SC competition only better.

In this plan Cadillac takes on Mercedes/BMW at their price points (CTS starts at $45,000 and comes close to $70,000). While SAAB covers Volvo/Jaguar and less so Audi with quirkiness and fun.
 

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No offense...but most Buicks, no matter the year or model tend to be geriatric...save for a Grand National possibly...

Frankly, I don't see that as a problem!

Well, I have to disagree with you. Drive a Wildcat, a Riviera from the sixties or from the early seventies, a Gran Sport, a GSX...
Back then, old people bought new Buicks because they had the money for it but the used ones were attracted younger drivers too!

Most people who drive new cars from BMW today are older because young people can't afford to buy them. That doesn't mean that a BMW is geriatric.

A 1994-96 Roadmaster with a padded vinyl top, opera lights, wire wheelcovers and an oversize speedometer will not please most younger people, (that includes myself!).
Even my '75 Electra looks and feels young compared to a nineties Roadmaster! Mine's got the positraction, firm ride and handling package, chome rallye wheels and it came from the factory without a vinyl top...
 

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Buick definitely can be saved! Excitement around the Enclave and sales of it really do prove that. The good news is that this proposed lineup of yours will be very close to what GM is planning. There will be a small FWD Skylark, FWD LaCrosse, FWD Lucurne and most likely a RWD Roadmaster as well. A small CUV is also being considered too so Buick really is going to be getting an expanded lineup, which is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Buick definitely can be saved! Excitement around the Enclave and sales of it really do prove that. The good news is that this proposed lineup of yours will be very close to what GM is planning. There will be a small FWD Skylark, FWD LaCrosse, FWD Lucurne most likely a RWD Roadmaster as well. A small CUV is also being considered as well so Buick really is going to be getting an expanded lineup, which is a good thing.
That's too bad about Buick having a Skylark, LaCrosse, Lucerne, and Roadmaster, as I really like the Wildcat idea, but can't see any scenario in which Buick would have 5 sedans, even if one is a specialized sports sedan.
 

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That's too bad about Buick having a Skylark, LaCrosse, Lucerne, and Roadmaster, as I really like the Wildcat idea, but can't see any scenario in which Buick would have 5 sedans, even if one is a specialized sports sedan.

There's a pretty strong possibility the FWD Lucurne will be cut with just an RWD sedan replacing it. That's one of the considerations right now. Skylark is a go, LaCrosse is a go, where there's doubt is the FWD Lucurne or having a RWD flagship sedan.
 

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There's a pretty strong possibility the FWD Lucurne will be cut with just an RWD sedan replacing it. That's one of the considerations right now. Skylark is a go, LaCrosse is a go, where there's doubt is the FWD Lucurne or having a RWD flagship sedan.
FWIW, I say just go with the RWD flagship (Electra or Park Ave; don't care). The large fwd sedan to fight the Avalon should come from Chevy IMO in the form of an Impala that already has recognition as a great family sedan. Having Buick competing with a Toyota only cheapens the brand. We definately don't need or want that.


PS...for all those that want cheap large rwd from chevy, I say yea but call it something besides Impala. Caprice?
 

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Buick should take the gorgeous Riviera concept, replace the gull wing doors with normal doors and BUILD it instead of letting that lovely design languish and fade away as they did with the LaCrosse and Velite concepts.....why keep showing off beautiful concept cars that win wide praise then NOT build them? After all the waiting and suspense the Invicta turned out to be derivative and safe after insiders saying we'd be "shocked" by the design.
 

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GM wouldn't need to "save" Buick if the mgt. had stuck to Alfred Sloan's business plan: "a car (and a division) for every pocketbook." Instead, GM cross-contaminated every division with cars (and trucks) that competed directly with other GM divisions rather than trying to steal sales from Ford, Chrysler, and the imports. If Sloan's model had been adhered to, Oldsmobile most probably would still be around. Of course, the quality problems of the '80s didn't enhance GM's reputation either.
 

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GM started quit strictly following the Sloan doctrine in the early 60's, some say earlier when all the divisions except Cadillac got a compact car, later every divsion,(again except Cadillac) had a musclecar, and an intermediate car, and when Chevy introduced the Caprice was almost as nice as a Buick Electra 225 or a DeVille, meanwhile Cadillac still offered the Calais which was a spartan as a Buick LeSabre, but still looked like a Cadillac.

I recall reading in a book, that if the Sloan plan was still followed strictly, and this book was from the late 1970's, Chevrolet would have cars like the Vega and Nova, Pontiac would be all midsize cars like the LeMans and Grand Prix, Oldsmobile would consist of cars like the Cutlass and 88-98 duo, Buick would have been all LeSabres and Electras, and Cadillac would of course only be large cars.
 

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I think Buick can be saved in this way:


Midsize FWD & AWD near luxury coupe, sedan & station wagon will be the Regal. Possible sporty variant called Grand National or Gran Sport. This car replaces LaCrosse.

Fullsize FWD & AWD near luxury sedan will be the Electra. Possible sporty variant called Wildcat or Centurion. This car replaces Lucerne.

Fullsize RWD & AWD super luxury sedan & station wagon will be the Park Avenue. Bigger than the Electra.

Fullsize FWD & AWD luxury coupe & convertible will be the Riviera. This is your halo car.


I am not sure about a compact. In Buick's Nineties heyday, the market for the Skylark simply went away. I do not know that anybody wants a small traditional luxury car anymore.
 
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